We are writers and storytellers who oppose the Beedie rezoning application for 105 Keefer, in the City of Vancouver. Spanning different generations of Han Chinese immigration to Canada, we strive to be accountable to elderly Chinese immigrants and Indigenous peoples who are struggling to keep Downtown Eastside and Chinatown affordable. We support the Chinatown Concern Group’s demands for the City of Vancouver to:

  1. adopt an “immediate moratorium on all market development projects in Chinatown until there is comprehensive community consultation and clear policies to protect the future of Vancouver’s Chinatown,” (2015 petition to the City of Vancouver)
  2. “create inclusionary zoning policy to require that at least 50% of all new housing built in Chinatown are developed as social housing, and to define social housing in Chinatown to mean housing in which all units are rented at rates no higher than $375/month (for singles),” (2015 petition to the City of Vancouver) and
  3. Meet all 10 of Chinatown Concern Group’s 2017 demands as listed on their webpage.

As Vancouver’s City Council meets on June 13, 2017, to consider the rezoning application, we assert the need for 100% low-income housing at 105 Keefer.

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Chinese seniors are opposed to the 105 Keefer development and are demanding for 100% housing at shelter rate. Some of them have gone out to City Hall to speak about protecting Chinatown and you can view video recordings here. Our Chinatown elders teach us and help us reflect upon who we are and where we come from. Therefore, we have a responsibility to steward their home, Chinatown, and keep it accessible so that our community can thrive. Beedie’s condo, with only 25 seniors’ housing units, is a displacement project driven by corporate profit. This gentrification is an attack on our Chinatown seniors and spaces accessible to low-income people.

We are seeing the displacement of low-income and working-class serving businesses in Chinatown, leaving elderly residents fewer and fewer choices for food and other daily necessities and pushing activists to organize boycotts against gentrifying businesses and events. Bringing in market condo units at 105 Keefer, especially eight more than what the lot is zoned for, in turn affects the affordability of rental rates at single room occupancy hotels and at Chinatown buildings managed by Chinese benevolence societies. Additional market condo units will drive up property values and property taxes around the area, not only at Columbia and Hastings, but around the neighbourhood of Downtown Eastside and Chinatown, which must be kept affordable in this homelessness crisis.

We stand with the Chinatown Concern Group in working for intergenerational equity and justice, which still does not exist in Vancouver under current conditions that privilege private profit over people’s everyday needs.

As we write this letter on the unceded and stolen territories of the Coast Salish host nations, on lands that are their traditional and ancestral homelands, we assert our solidarity with all communities seeking justice, especially Indigenous, Black and People of Colour communities fighting against conditions of displacement and dispossession around the world.

Signed,

Rita Wong

Yulanda Lui / 呂芷樺

Laiwan

Larissa Lai

Listen Chen

Amanda Wan / 温雅雯

Rachel Lau

Fred Wah

A Quinn / 坤春鳳

Adrienne Yeung

Cheuk Fung L

guai haizi

Sasha Gaylie

Meena Wong
Fiona Tinwei Lam

Loretta Seto

Janet Lumb

Alyssa Sy de Jesus / 施丽莎
Celine Chuang

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Audrey Siegl (ancestral name sχɬemtəna:t)

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mia susan amir

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