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.