A round-up of some things we’ve been following.
Safekeeping. First United Church announced this week that it is desperately in need of funding to keep their storage facility in operation. The facility allows Downtown East Side residents to store their belongings in a secure environment, but will close if they are not able to secure the necessary funds.
Social stigma? Mixing social housing with high-end developments is not new to Vancouver, however, the sluggish sales of units in the Olympic Village has reopened the debate about the social engineering of communities and provision of social housing. Development consultant Michael Geller stated early last week that the inclusion of social housing within the development may be hurting sales. Very understandably he has been met with a lot of criticism for this view and unfortunately the debate turned nasty.
How much does it help? Bob Rennie and architect Peter Busby debate the merits of green building.
One book, not Vancouver. Vancouver Public Library named The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as this year’s One Book One Vancouver. While conceding that it’s an old favourite, Terry Lavender questions whether a more Vancouver-centric book or author could have been chosen instead.
Speak up. Mero Vancouver launched a new website called Renters Speak Up to encourage renters to participate in discussions about affordable housing in the region. Though housing policy affects them, they tend to be absent in discussions. That is about to change, at least for renters who speak English and have internet access.
Image credit: Dan Toulgoet, Vancouver Courier