HomeLocal NewsNew tent city slums in Vancouver Downtown East Side

New tent city slums in Vancouver Downtown East Side

Another unsightly tent city has popped up in Vancouver’s downtime east side.

In the morning earlier this week tents lined the sidewalk blocking business doors and preventing people from using the sidewalk.

The illegal camping has caused disruption to local businesses with tents blocking access to the store front.

They have built makeshift structures from tarps and other materials. There’s only one place to use the washroom and that is Carnegie Community Centre on Main, which closes at 11 p.m.

The sidewalk occupation has laid siege to the public space. The streets around the new tent city are completely unsanitary, it stinks of urine and has garbage spread all across the ground.

“Washrooms that are only available while the community centre is open are not acceptable,” Fiona York, project coordinator at the Carnegie Action Centre, wrote to Postmedia.

At the time there was about 70 tents set up, according to Postmedia which stretched two-blocks down Hastings, “including marquees, makeshift structures made from tarps, and at least 55 tents.”

Dave Hamm, vice-president of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, wants taxpayers to foot the bill to bring in trailer toilets on the corner of Columbia and Hastings streets.

Taxpayers are currently paying for trailer toilets at the other homeless tent city at Oppenheimer Park.

Dave Hamm also said he would like to showers for the homeless and drug addicts paid for by taxpayers.

“There are plenty of examples of effective sanitation facilities,” York said, noting a pilot project with overnight showers and washrooms behind the Astoria Hotel. “Even Strathcona Park had a warming centre, and shower and washroom facilities.”

“We’re currently at an all-time high of homelessness numbers,” York said. because the recent fire at the Winters Hotel and the closure of the London Hotel, as well as increasing rents.

According to Global News, BC Housing said in a statement that it was not responsible for enforcing city bylaws on camping. The agency said it was, however, “actively reaching out to those camping on the street or in parks to offer indoor spaces.”

“Over the long term, BC Housing staff, the City of Vancouver, and our non-profit housing operators are working on building supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” the statement said. “Since 2018, BC Housing has opened more than 1,400 supportive housing units in the City of Vancouver – that’s 1,400 people who are no longer sleeping outside and have homes with 24/7 supports and access to healthcare.” according to Global News.

Vancouver city council made a decision to end the daily cleaning of the streets.

City workers and police have been accused of dismantle illegal structures and illegal campsites by “discarding unattended tents and other personal belongings found on the street” impeding use of the sidewalk and blocking business doors.

While illegal structures are no longer being dismantled the homeless feel more empowered to stay long term. City workers still drive by daily to try to clean up the garbage, but most of the time there’s too many structures close together preventing them from cleaning up.

Although the city made the decision to have VPD and city workers quit dismantling illegal structures and clean the area because it was “controversial”. Apparently a guy named Zak said the city is looking at getting another group to do the exact same “controversial” task.

Zak wants to get engaging with and hope “community members and organizations take responsibility for keeping particular stretches of the street free of garbage or structures, like tents, that block the sidewalk.”

Area boutique owner Troy Kurkshank said the increased number of tents in the area raises concerns about safety and fire.

“I’m worried about what else I can’t monitor in these tents because it’s a closed space,” he said.

“We already have a fire problem in the city. That’s definitely an additional concern.”

Const. Tania Visintin, a spokeswoman for Vancouver Police, said the city has previously requested the department to go with sanitation workers to clean up trash because of conflicts with some street people. However, VPD gave notice last November that it will stop providing this service on July 1 because it was not seen as a core policing service, according to the spokesperson.

According to Zumper, Last updated on July 10, 2022.The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, BC is currently $2,394. This is a 20% increase compared to the previous year.

Over the past month, the average rent for a studio apartment in Vancouver decreased by -2% to $1,950. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment increased by 4% to $2,394, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased by 3% to $3,400.

However Liv reported 2 bedroom unfurnished increased by 4.9% since last month

By dropping to a 1.2% vacancy rate from 2.6% in 2020, Metro Vancouver’s rental market has once again tightened in ways not seen across other large centres in Canada, found the CMHC

In February Vancouver Is Awesome By dropping to a 1.2 per cent vacancy rate from 2.6 per cent in 2020, Metro Vancouver’s rental market has once again tightened in ways not seen across other large centres in Canada, found the CMHC.

The purpose-built rental apartment vacancy rate decreased from 2.6% in 2020 to 1.2% in 2021, similar to 2019. The return of students and increased migration to the region grew rental demand faster than supply. says a report from CMHC

What is the street and sidewalk bylaw for Vancouver?

A spokesperson for the City of Vancouver told BC Rise by email the bylaw “is intended to minimize obstructions to help keep sidewalks accessible, passable, clean and safe for everyone.” The street and traffic city bylaws can be found on the City of Vancouver website. The document is dated, last update on (Consolidated for convenience only to March 1, 2022).

In section 66 of the bylaw it says, no merchandise, vehicle, chattel, or wares of any nature on any street, sidewalk or boulevard for the purpose of sale or display, or for any other purpose whatsoever except in the actual course of receipt or delivery. “merchandise” includes food products, produce and like products. Anything sold on the street may be impounded.

While section 67 says, no persons shall occupy streets or sidewalks that obstructs, impedes, or interferes passage of vehicles or pedestrians on streets and sidewalks, except with the written permission of the Council

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