Douglas Park Homeowners Rise up to Stop Basement Suites

Who would cite too much affordable housing as a reason to oppose new basement suites? In their newsletter yesterday, the Douglas Park Neighbours Association cited "an enormous amount of density within blocks of the Douglas Park area and beyond, and...thousands of affordable units," as a reason to oppose a small infill development.

These friendly neighbourhood landowners have organized to oppose new housing. They mean to safeguard Douglas Park "against the erosion of its special character and RS-5 residential integrity through incongruous development and over-densification." In pursuit of this goal, they may have four basement suites eliminated from the application at 809 W 23rd Ave.

That is four units that we will not have. Four families or households that will not be able to live in Vancouver. Multiplied over the whole city, it's death by 1,000 cuts.
The current residents instead want development that is "consistent with what other buildings are like in the neighbourhood." And what are other buildings like? They're $3,000,000+.

Intense opposition from established homeowners, even to modest infill projects like this, leads to a rental vacancy rate below 1%, with no signs of a return to sane levels. And it prevents more affordable options from being built.
This one example, played out across all of the city's "single-family" zones, explains a lot of the exclusion, displacement, and crisis that our city is experiencing. The 10-unit project originally proposed is getting towards the kind of building that, on a large scale, could make better use of existing land and actually provide sufficient housing for our population.

What can you do? For Vancouverites who are not fortunate enough to have invested in Douglas Park real estate in the 1990's, or who would like to live next to Douglas Park yourselves one day, it is important to support this project in one of two ways:

First, you can write to the Mayor and Council at publichearing@vancouver.ca to explain why you would support thousands of affordable units near the Canada Line, and four additional units in this small infill development in particular. You can also beta test AHV's new letter generator. It doesn't send yet, but you can copy and paste the generated text into your own email client.

And if you really love housing, you can request to speak at Council tomorrow, Tuesday June 13th, at 6pm on the 3rd floor of City Hall (12th and Cambie). You can sign up to speak here.