In response to the news of a government bailout for the developer of the Sequel 138 project a rally and march was recently held on December 11th. Word of a below-market $3.75 million loan given by BC Housing to the Sequel 138 property developers recently came to light in the media (links here). The reports also stated that another $20 million might be provided to help fund the construction. Over 100 people attended the demonstration at 2pm and the march went from the former Pantages site at 138 East Hastings, to Pigeon Park, to the Rennie Marketing offices at 51 East Pender and to the BC Housing offices on East Hastings as documented in the following video:
The approval of the Sequel project at 138 East Hastings was highly controversial, as we documented in the earlier article Sequel 138 approved at Development Permit Board (April 23). Further information on the rally and march can be found on The Mainlander and at the DTES is not for Condo Developers site. Coop Radio featured an interview with Ivan Drury on the Redeye show (Dec 15 11:40am on “the struggle to stop BC Housing from bailing out condos in the Downtown Eastside, and instead fund new social housing”). We’ve included a number of select photos of the march further below.
The policies of BC Housing have also resulted in the significant loss of social housing elsewhere in Vancouver at the Little Mountain Housing project. Here 220 housing units were demolished in 2009 without an approved redevelopment or rezoning plan in place. Are BC Housing’s practices reckless or are they serving those most in need? One of the speakers noted that Bob Rennie joined the B.C. social housing board (in video above, announcement here). One of the reasons for the rally was in response to the incredibly low-interest loans (at 1.29 percent interest) given to the proponent by BC Housing. Can this be perceived as a subsidy to a condo developer?