DERA housing society accused of corruption

Post by Mike Klassen in ,

11 comments

Kim Kerr in handcuffs
Kim Kerr with VPD in 2007. Photo: Vancouver Sun

The Globe and Mail have broken open a big story with long political connections in Vancouver. They are reporting today that the Downtown Eastside Residents Association negligently misrepresented finances, failed to pay taxes, and doled out favours to friends such as bypassing waiting lists for social housing.

Quoting from the Globe and Mail:

“The defendants … owed a duty of care to BC Housing to act with reasonable skill, competence and prudence in providing BC Housing with complete and accurate information regarding budgeting, tenancy and administrative matters,” the agency says in a 29-page statement of claim filed Thursday. However, the defendants breached their duties of care by negligently making misrepresentations, the province says.

The housing society and Mr. Kerr “breached the duty of care they owed to BC Housing, in that they failed to exercise the standard of care required of a reasonably competent person managing a social housing development,” the statement of claims says

In a lawsuit filed in BC Supreme Court Thursday, BC Housing have asked for a receiver to appoint a receiver to manage three housing towers run by the Downtown Eastside Residents Housing Society: the 110-unit Pendera Place on Pender Street West, the 90-unit Tellier Towers on East Hastings and the 86-unit Solheim Place on Union Street.

Downtown Eastside writer Jamie Lee Hamilton wrote often on her blog about problems she saw with DERA. Contacted by CityCaucus.com Jamie Lee commented, "I'm glad that they (authorities) are finally acting [on these matters]."

A year ago Kim Kerr received a legal setback when he lost his defamation lawsuit against former NPA Coun. Peter Ladner. Today, some observers are suggesting that the City of Vancouver must also join in the suit against DERA. The NPA cut off DERA's funding during their term of council, and were widely criticized by social activists and the then Vision Vancouver/COPE opposition members.

11 Comments

There should be a full audit of these guys. The only thing they have going for them is that they helped get the Mayor elected.

Well Jennifer, the rumours around DERA have been swirling since Expo '86 and unfortunately have coloured the very good things happening in the downtown eastside. Do a little googling and you will find those "long political connections" also colour how some of us view left-leaning political parties in this province.

I don't think they are the only poverty agency that requires an audit...there are others. I agree with Jennifer, most of these Agency's and their unionized staff helped to get Gregor elected....hummm something to think about.
Is all the funding going to help those in need? If so, why are so many homeless or housed and struggling without supports?
In my opinion, the administration costs seem to out weigh the good that could be done.

As determined in the lawsuit mentioned in the article, Kim Kerr is the man who threatened then-Councillor Elizabeth Ball, telling her: "“you’d look good lying in an alley, on your back in an alley, with that red scarf tied tight around your neck”

His actions then, and the misdeeds alleged in the new reports, confirm how right the NPA was to cut off funding to such a corrupt organization. Those that pilloried the NPA at the time owe Sam Sullivan, Peter Ladner and Elizabeth Ball and the NPA Council a heartfelt apology. How long will they have to wait?

There's no place in the City Of Vancouver for that kind of thuggish behaviour or corrupt exploitation of those in real need.

"...and "unfortunately have coloured the very good things happening on the
downtown eastside".

How many not-for-profits are down there? How much money have they received from the taxpapyer? I understand the current thinking is that $1 billion a year is spent on services and runing things down there.

And clearly, Sandra, we can see the good it is doing. *cough*

This is the tip of the iceberg. I am in absolute agreement with auditing all the non-profits. Who, by the way, seem more focused on politics, looking after friends and staying off the streets themselves.

This is one time I can actually applaud the Campbell government.

bravo to Rich Coleman and his government. This is the right thing to do and should give them a boost in the polls. Funny I haven't heard it on the news anywhere except the Globe and Mail and this blog?

There is an estimated 174 'organizations' working in the DTES and at last report, we 'taxpayers' are spending $1M a day on roughly 12,000 people.

Where is this money going to as things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

An audit needs to be done and done quick.


Thanks.
After dealing with this man for years, I gotta say, you have brightened my weekend with this article.

I agree the city of vancouver should also commit to auditing their books immediately! There are also hundreds of other agencies that need to be audited in the downtown eastside. Hiring all these auditors would also help to create new jobs and stimulate the economy. LOL

Kim Kerr should never of been made the executive director. He has always been a sc*****. I hope this is the beginning of the end of other non-profits scamming the taxpayers of the DTES. Next on the list: Portland Hotel Society, CCAP, and Atira

It sure has taken along time coming as very few non-profits helping the low income have been made to follow any standards in this province as services for low income have all but disappeared.
BC Housing and Community Services provides bed bug infested beds for its disabled clients and then government tells them bite me instead of helping disabled with their nightmare of blood sucking insects bleeding them dry, complimients of BC Housing and Rags and Salvation Army as hundreds of the disabled cry foul. BC Housing buys up all these useless plastic covers that are faulty and the covers tear when trying to place them on the beds a total waste of resources.
It is no secret DERA wasn't doing the job only question I have to BC Housing is what took you so long? Corruption trickles down not up and if you want to see someone cook the books I would have a gander at the BC Liberal's accounting practices. I would also have a look at what Affordable housing is up to because you can count on something being out of whack there also.

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