The City of Vancouver has publicized its development plan for the future of the DTES, helmed by Chief Planner Brian Jackson, in open houses on July 18 and 20th. Public consultation will continue through the summer. The Local Area Plan, as it’s referred to, includes new height allowances of 120 feet at the Main and Hastings intersection, and a target of 60% low-income rental housing in new developments along the Oppenhiemer district. The LAP further “sets 10-year goals to create 800 new social-housing units, improve conditions in 1,500 SROs, and offer 1,650 rent subsidies for low-income residents. It also proposes a target of 1,650 new units of “affordable market rental housing” in the next 10 years.”
Further goals of the plan include densifying the DTES, and adding 10,000 residents to its presently estimated 18,000. Two-thirds of the area’s present residents are estimated to be either receiving social assistance or very poor.
The LAP has been criticized for its lack of clear definitions – which the City has responded by saying it hopes public consultation will contribute to the formulation of all terms and targets in the plans. While there is presently no clear definition of the “social housing” the LAP allocates for, it’s been revealed that the plan is for a variety of below-market rental rates in hopes of achieving a self-funding model for maintenance.