Caption: Taiko drummers leading the Community Celebration Walking Tour, part of the JARA organized Block Party held on September 17, 2016. The community mural by two Filipina artists, Aly d., Kim Villagante and youth reads, “home”.
INTRO: Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) sent this statement to Vancouver Mayor and City Council on Sept. 19, in time for the Public Hearing starting 6 pm on Tuesday, Sept 20, 2016, for a major rezoning around this Skytrain station.* (Reprinted here with permission, but CityHallWatch added some bolding for emphasis. The statement raises concerns about loss of existing affordable housing, negative impacts on the community, unaddressed concerns about transportation/transit, and an unsatisfactory consultation process — asking Council to reject this rezoning and reconsider these key issues. CityHallWatch has added links and references at bottom.)
Dear Mayor and Vancouver City Council,
In response to the “REZONING: Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Plan and Related Rezonings”, the Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) would like to offer our comments in opposition to the proposed rezonings in our neighbourhood.
You may recall a group of passionate community members, from youth to seniors, who came down to City Hall to offer comments on rushed development in our community in June this year. Rapid growth inherently conflicts with Vancouver’s goal to become the greenest city. We urge City Council to carefully consider the following before making a decision about the proposed mass rezoning.
High Renter Population/Current Affordability
The high renter population in the neighbourhood must be considered. As indicated in the plan, 46 percent of 6,300 home dwellings are rented by individuals and families. Many have chosen to stay as renting has always been a more affordable option. However, with the current state of growing unaffordability in the city, unprotected and displaced renters will be left with no other options for housing. Many renters are currently spending somewhere between 30 to 50 per cent of their income on rent. As a result, new development does not guarantee that current renters will be able to afford the units. There is an urgent need for more non-market rentals, especially in a neighbourhood with such high percentages of low-income, immigrant families and seniors.
Transit Convenience & Services
The City of Vancouver has already found that Renfrew-Collingwood area has a higher representation of low-income and immigrant residents compared to the city-wide average. In addition, the neighbourhood is also home to one of the highest proportions of seniors. Continue reading