City breaks with social-mix policy in megaprojects to get controversial site on Hastings

This is a complicated story to understand all the details of, but essentially the city’s planning department is recommending that, instead of requiring Concord Pacific to reserve land for affordable housing in its new Northeast False Creek phase, that the city accept two other properties Concord owns on Hastings Street instead.

One of those properties, 58 West Hastings, was the object of protests and demonstrations before and during the Olympics as Concord proposed to build market condos there.

We now have various people opining that, if the city builds just social housing there, it will just entrench income segregation in the city. NPAers Suzanne Anton, on council, and Michael Geller, not, are saying that the city should instead have asked Concord to give the city one or more of the six sites already reserved on other portions of Concord’s False Creek developments and that the city should instead have lobbied to get provincial money for supportive social housing there.

Downtown Eastside activists, of course, would like to see Hastings sites become strictly social housing.

And the city, in public and elsewhere, is saying that it may consider other options besides just provincially subsidized social housing, at least for the 58 West Hastings site, to create some housing that’s aimed at a bigger range of low-income households than just the most seriously challenged that the province is focusing all of its efforts on these days.

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