Vision sneaks in Olympic Village housing option as late distribution report

Post by Mike Klassen in ,

19 comments

Alice-White-Rabbit
We're late! Another late distribution report from Vision's "no consultation" council

UPDATE: In a farcical disregard for the public, Vision rams through their housing operator decision (which they labeled URGENT) a 12:55am. Another Late Show with Vision Vancouver to spoil the interest of citizens...

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In yet another signal of Vision Vancouver's arrogant disregard for the input of the citizens they're supposed to represent, the City has slipped in a late distribution report on the Olympic Village social/rental housing, touting it as "URGENT". The decisions put forward by staff will commit tens of millions of dollars with little oversite from the public.

We know exactly what the spin is going to be from the Mayor's office. We are sooo desperate for this housing that we need to get people housed immediately! There is not time to talk – we must act NOW!

The council report, which was only posted on the City's website after 4pm today, will tie Vancouver into a 60 year lease arrangement. It says:

The RFP process took 6 months and therefore at this time there is a real urgency to enable utilization of the affordable housing units on parcels 5 and 9 by our target tenants.

Yeah, sure it's "urgent". Here's the city council that decided to wait until AFTER the Olympics were over to decide on the social/market housing mix. They took the 20% social housing promise and squashed it down to 11%, then tied the project to a requirement of allowing police, firefighters and unionized teachers to get first dibs on the rental units.

BC Housing was saddled with well over a dozen changes to the RFP, and the region's top social housing operators balked at getting involved. Then Minister Rich Coleman took one look at the three applicants left, and washed the Province's hands of it.

Vision Vancouver, ever determined to have their showpiece social housing in Southeast False Creek, are rejecting perfectly reasonable suggestions to sell or make as leasehold these units, and take the profits and purchase many times more units outside of SEFC.

This afternoon council is being asked to approve a special purpose Housing Co-operative established by the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHFBC) as Lessee and Operator of the City-owned 84 unit affordable rental housing project. The CHFBC was one of the operators rejected in Coleman's decision.

The amount of money Vancouver has invested into this property, and the amount being utilized for this housing is considerable. Furthermore, as the City will not be partnering with BC Housing, they are putting Vancouver taxpayers on the hook for all risk associated with this project:

The total cost of construction of the Southeast False Creek affordable housing is $110,000,000. Of this amount $38,009,949 is the cost for Parcel 2 [the social housing]. Under the Lease Agreement, the City will receive prepaid rent ( the proceeds of operator mortgage) of $21,202,7451.

BC Housing is not involved in this affordable housing project, and therefore the Lessee/Operator will need contingent financial backing from the City for the mortgage it will have to obtain in order to deliver the prepaid rent to the City. As a result, the City may be required to provide some form of guarantee or indemnity to the Lessee's lender.

It's astonishing that these kinds of dollars are being committed to without any proper notification of the meeting. Vision's use of "late distribution" has become all too commonplace, and it's a clear indication of their arrogant style of politics.

Look for this decision to be rammed through at council's Thursday night meeting.

UPDATE: Wow. It was quite a night. We started to live tweet the meeting and because of the responses of followers kept going until 1am!! Too much information to process now, but the tweets start here. The meeting ended up getting taken over by protesters from VAN-ACT, who couldn't stand anymore puffery from Coun. Raymond Louie after he chided them and said they were saving lives by holding the meeting until 1am. Pffft.

- post by Mike

19 Comments

Disgusting. Simply disgusting. The only way to describe this vision council. How dare they slip this in at the last minute and not allow any public consultation. They are THE MOST ARROGANT GOVERNMENT WE HAVE SEEN IN OVER 30 YEARS. There was nothing urgent about this report. Nothing. They just wanted to slip this in while nobody was watching.

Gregor, you will and your councillors will pay at the polls for this kind of arrogance. And it can't come soon enough. Bye bye.

@Ralph. Vision have spun this as "URGENT" but that is bunk. It is 11:15pm on Thursday, and Vision have overridden council rules on meetings after 11pm so they can ram through this vote - see my tweets tonight http://twitter.com/citycaucus

This is such a farce. Vision just want to ram through without the public having a say in the millions they are spending on this policy showpiece.

Tonight Robertson and Ballem blamed BC Housing for the City's mess. Louie and others on council repeated the fallacy that this URGENT meeting was to get "people off the street" when they know full well that the street homeless are not going to be housed in the Olympic Village.

My guess is that the public will eat Vision alive on not only the ramming thru of the decision, but the huge cost per unit to taxpayers.

Whatever the issue, the urgency or the cost, our local politicians are demonstrating time and time again that political PARTIES and city councils do not mix. thank you for tweeting last nights interesting meeting... Obviously our council has become completely dysfunctional and has no intention of representing anyone but their own interests.

Kate I agree, whatever the party, it's broken.

Disgraceful. Shameful. This party has to go.

As far as social housing at Millennium, could someone please explain to me why this is essential? It has always seemed to me that the city would get far more social housing by selling all the properties at Millennium, and then using the funds they would have spent on social housing there to buy up property in False Creek...only a couple blocks away.

This would:
a) Get more social housing for the same $$, as False Creek is already leased land and therefore half the cost of the Millennium land

b) Remove just one more obstacle to the endless sea of obstacles that seem to pop up with the Millennium project

There are some gorgeous properties in False Creek...so people might end up with the BMW of social housing rather than the Bentley...but isn't the point to get more social housing rather than insisting on social housing in some of the most expensive condos in the city?

Well said Jason.

I have just read Mike's 67 tweets from last night & this morning. There is no other description of this conduct other than disgraceful & outrageous. There can be no justification of this abuse of authority. None.

The Council of the day under Art Phillips in 1973 brought in changes which required Council, Park & School Boards to hold meetings during hours when citizens who were affected by the decisions being made could reasonably be able to attend. I was sitting @ Council yesterday afternoon to speak to the Norquay Plan motion & was thinking back to those days & why we had done that. One lady yesterday afternoon said she'd taken the day off work to attend. Not many can do that. I noted to myself that this policy would not have allowed City business such as a motion to accept a community plan in the afternoon of a working day, nor would it have permitted the decision to go ahead with 4 community plans @ one time instead of 1 during the previous morning session. When I was informed this morning of last nights charade I was horrified.

When is to much to much? When will the Province step in to stop this abuse of authority?

Mike I just read all your tweets from last night. I am shocked by what vision did. This is public money and the public should have a right to say whether we agree with council on this. This is not about political parties. It's about a terrible bunch of politicians who are part of the vision party. The sooner we get rid of them the better.

Is anyone really surprised that Vision is doing this in the dead of night when few people are paying attention? Imagine if this had been an NPA council. The protests would have been loud. But because it's Vision, complete SILENCE from the hypocrites. Nary a peep from the Courier, The Straight, Bula, etc.

@Kate - Unfortunately, municipal parties have become necessary to get elected. It's very rare that an independent candidate gets elected to council, even when they are much better than what the parties have to offer. But to run for council as an independent means you get completely ignored by the press and forgotten by those who organize candidate forums, making them nearly invisible to potential voters. How do you go back after we've had the NPA for 60+ years, and now this unholy Vision/COPE alliance that is screwing over Vancouver?

After reading this you can now register me as a former supporter of Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver. I voted for them once but never again. This is not what I signed up for. They have no more principles left.

The Thought of The Day

“STUPID + VANCOUVER = STUPIDER”

You pick up a paper, click on a web page, and listen to the news on the Radio. Everywhere, in our days, you read about, browse about or talk about The New Incredible and Wonderfully Amazing Gregolliver Travels.

Are Gregolliver’s New Adventures giving you a headache? Do the fact that you voted "Vancouver Vision" during the last election are giving you remorse cramps? Are you getting a bloody nose every time when you hear one of them Vision councillors moving a motion to “spray-paint the homeless ‘foliage green’, ‘brick burgundy’ or ‘Taxicab yellow’ as a way to better blend them in with their surroundings” ?

If that’s the case, you are not alone. And there is a cure. I’m here to help you. Take a deep breath now. Go to the nearest mirror and while looking at your reflection repeat after me:

“ICH BIN EIN STUPIDER”

There. I hope it helped.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

PS.
This is an old post(Glissando Remmy | April 15, 2010 10:59 AM - "24 Hours column: "Go it alone" homeless count costs Vancouver $75,000"), but hey, it feels as fresh as ever.

You know what they say darling, a sucker is born every minute! Make sure you are not one of them Deb!

I absolutely agree with all. I have NEVER been this outraged at city politicians. I cannot believe we were SUCH FOOLS voting for these idiots. They damage they have done to our beautiful city is SO MUCH over the last 2 years, it's making me really scared of its impacts for years to come!

As Ralph said, the ARROGANCE and DISTATORSHIP behavior of this council is something we have NEVER SEEN in BC local politics. Gregor thinks he's Saddam Hossein!

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD, WE NEED TO KICK THESE IDIOTS OUT. I am just scared if next year would be too late and not sure what else could we do in the meantime! :(

You're assuming they started with them...?

Q#1 It was too much a long time ago.
Q#2 Never.

Reading the other link above about Gregor gunning for NDP leadership shows that he does NOT CARE for long-term serving Mayor and he's gonna do whatever he wants to do in the city, then quit to run for NDP leadership and to run as Premier! Similar to how Gordon Campbell just quit and is gonna most probably go after Federal politics!

Which means, we GOTTO DO ALL WE CAN, to have our VOICES HEARD while they are still in office, as by next city elections, it could be too late!

Can you imagine if the Provincial government was elected the same way we elect City Councillors? No constituencies, no local MLA's, all Members voted on by everybody in the province in a first past the post lame-horse derby. That's how we elect City Coucillors. That's why a marketer with a clear brand and little else to offer("End homelessness by 20..., Greenest City..., blah blah blah") is able to get elected and to roll over opposition to an unsafe, unnecessary bike-lane, non-amenitied density increases in one of the most dense neighbourhoods in North America, gifts to their union friends at the OV, etc. ad nauseum...
Not a single elector in Vancouver can claim to have a single Councillor directly representing them.
The at-large system is desperately dysfunctional, yet all we hear on this blog and elsewhere is "With a strong Mayoral candidate, Robertson and Vision can be unseated."
The elector ends up in the same frying pan, just with a different cook. Big deal.

The Thought of The Day

“Pennystein, Jungstein, Frankenstein – Pain Doctors at Large.”

Mr. Vancouver went to see the Pain Doctor last night.
All went well until around midnight:

“The Doctor: ‘Could you take your clothes off now, please?’
Mr. Vancouver: ‘Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this!’
The Doctor: ‘Don’t do that!’”
Mr. Vancouver: ‘Is it going to go away Doctor?’
The Doctor: ‘Bend for me now.’
Mr. Vancouver: ‘Doctor, what should I do with my panties?’
The Doctor: ‘Throw them over on that chair, next to mine...’
Mr. Vancouver (surprised): ‘Doctor!’
Mr. Vancouver (suspicious): ‘Doctor?’
Mr. Vancouver (scared): ‘Doctor!?’
The Doctor: ‘Sshhhh, look away, look away...and stop struggling (punches him in the guts).
Mr. Vancouver (coughing): ‘What was that for?’
The Doctor: ‘Sshhhh, I’m your friend Mr. Vancouver. Stop being so judgmental! ’“

So I’ve heard.

Vision Vancouver pulled another rushed, sneaky act of desperation that confirmed once more,that we were ran over by a bunch of incompetent, arrogant, sociopathic bullies.
Think about it. They are getting paid for this. By you! You! You are not even getting paid, by you!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

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