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BC Housing and city staff did not come prepared with answers to even the most basic questions from councillors and the community on the first evening of the public hearing for the Arbutus and W7th / W8th rezoning application.

Vancouver, B.C. (June 29, 2022): The first night of public hearing on a proposed BC Housing tower at W7th/W8th Avenues and Arbutus has left the community with no guarantees about who will be living there or what services will be provided, and far more questions than answers. 

“Last night, the people behind the BC Housing proposal could not confirm the tenant composition, what services there would be, or how many staff would be on-site, leaving all of us who were watching and listening to believe that there are way too many unanswered questions about this proposal,” said Karen Finnan, a spokesperson for the Kitsilano Coalition, the broad-based community group opposed to the proposal. “Even the would-be operator had to admit they did not have experience in managing or operating a project this big. Frankly, we did not hear a single thing that made this project more appealing, or that it was a good fit in a residential neighbourhood. In fact, it felt like councillors and the community were being told to ‘trust us’ when it came to the details. That’s just not good enough when it comes to a project that is regarded by experts in the field of addiction and mental health as a failed housing model.”

Finnan also noted that last night’s report from BC Housing on its public consultation failed to mention that more than 80 percent of public comments were opposed to the proposed project, and that number was only made available after an FOI request from the Kitsilano Coalition.

“The sort of project details we heard last night were vague at best, and that makes all of us in the community concerned that BC Housing and city staff want as little information out there as possible,” added Finnan. “How can you come to city council and our community and say absolutely nothing about the details and issues that are most important to the people who live here?” 

Only seven of the 245 people who signed up to speak were heard before the first night of the hearing was adjourned at 10:00 PM. The hearing continues today at 6:00 PM.

Media contact:
Trevor Pancoust