Tagged: Housing

WERA in the News: XtraWest

WERA President, Christine Ackermann, is quoted in this March 4th XtraWest story about the West End Community Plan process:

“I think it’s important to get involved and engaged with city planning for the West End,” says West End Residents Association (WERA) president Christine Ackermann, who attended the session. “Housing, in particular, is such an important issue. It’s good to have diversity at the table.”

But Ackermann says she is aware of community concerns regarding the planning process.

“I have heard [from the community] that the process is very rushed,” she says. “That doesn’t mean that they’re not doing a good job. It’s just difficult with the timeline. Less time for a community means less outreach to the community.”

Read the article by Shauna Lewis.

Housing Info Session Feb.26: West End Community Plan

The following announcement was received by WERA via email from the West End Community Planning staff team.

Information Session on Housing in the West End

Affordable housing and homelessness are important issues in the West End. As part of the West End community planning process, this session will be an opportunity to find out what we have heard about housing so far (from both the community and the area housing providers), and to share the housing issues faced by your community. City staff will be on hand to answer your questions at this drop-in session.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

5:30 to 8 pm

Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox St

Denman Room

Seniors housing counsellor training comes to the West End

Do you work or volunteer with seniors who need help with housing? Seniors Services Society’s Housing Counsellor Training can give you the tools you need to assist the seniors you work with. The Society is offering an eight-week course at Gordon Neighbourhood House, March 7 – April 25. Cost is $100.00.

For more info or to request a registration form: 604?520?6621 | admin@seniorsservicessociety.ca | www.seniorsservicessociety.ca

Seniors Housing Course flyer

Advisory Committee Membership Announced

The Mayor’s Office has announced the members of the Mayor’s West End Advisory Committee. The following is the email received by WERA announcing the members:

From: Robertson, Gregor
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 11:14 AM
Subject: Mayor’s West End Advisory Committee


Thank you for your interest in being a part of the Mayor’s West End Advisory Committee. After several weeks of reviewing almost 80 applications, we have selected the members of the Committee. It was not an easy task to narrow it down to 12 people with so many qualified, enthusiastic candidates. The level of interest was much more than we had anticipated and I want to thank you for taking the time to consider being a part of it.

Given the experience and energy that was present in the applications, we could have had several West End Advisory Committees! After careful consideration, we feel we have a good mix of people who are ready to get down to work and represent the unique diversity of the West End.

The members of the committee are:

Ms. Christine Ackermann

Mr. Tony Clark

Ms. Marlann Cooper

Mr. Jim Deva

Ms. Michelle Fortin

Mr. Rob Hines

Ms. Lena Hozaima

Mr. Peter Jackman

Mr. Tiko Kerr

Mr. Dean Malone

Ms. Cherie Payne

Ms. Carol Reardon

For those of you who were not chosen, I want to encourage you to stay active and involved in your community. The Committee is tasked with going out and engaging the West End, and there will be a number of opportunities to plug in to the work taking place over the next several months.

Thanks again for your interest,

Mayor Gregor Robertson

A Vision for the West End

On January 31, 2010 WERA hosted a community forum called “Your Story. Our Future.”

This forum was held as part of a campaign for community-based planning and a comprehensive community vision for the West End. The forum included a visioning workshop, a Q&A with the City of Vancouver, and a case study discussion of a future redevelopment in the West End.

WERA hired facilitator, Dara Parker, to produce a report from this forum: WERA Community Visioning Report

WERA director Christine Ackermann is quoted in this story in this week’s WE newspaper. Posted here with the permission of the author.

NEWS: Community unites to “vision” a better West End

Posted By: Jackie Wong

03/17/2010 12:00 AM

A group of West End residents gathered in front of the Beach Towers apartment building at Harwood and Cardero streets Sunday afternoon (March 14) to voice their opposition to a rezoning and development application for the site that will soon be submitted to the City of Vancouver. The proposed rezoning for Beach Towers — which consists of four towers clustered along Beach Avenue between Cardero and Bidwell — is the most recent in a series of rezoning applications that has drawn criticism from neighbourhood residents.

A rezoning application for a 21-storey tower at 1215 Bidwell, as well as an application for a 22-storey tower at 1401 Comox Street (currently the site of St. John’s United Church), have raised neighbourhood concerns about a perceived lack of public consultation. They are part of the City’s Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) program, a two-and-a-half-year initiative approved by city council in June 2009 that provides incentives for developers to build new market rental housing. Incentives include parking requirement reductions and expedited permit processing.

“What’s happening in the West End is that there’s been a number of rezoning applications because of the STIR program,” says West End Residents Association (WERA) director Christine Ackermann. “[But] the projects themselves aren’t really addressing the number-one concern of westenders, which is affordability.”

Continue reading

Rezoning Applications: How do we vision the future of our community?

Rezoning Forum Nov 21 2009

The public hearing on the rezoning of Maxine’s at 1215 Bidwell will be held on December 1, 2009.

The public open house on the rezoning of St. John’s at 1401 Comox will be held on November 24, 2009.

WERA is committed to facilitating a responsible and critical public dialogue among residents and City Hall when it comes to rezoning and development applications.

We encourage as many residents as possible to be engaged in the public process. WERA has invited folks to attend open houses, fill out comments forums, write to Mayor and Council and attend Council meetings. These are the ways in which you have a chance for your voice to be heard. We also believe residents need a chance to speak and listen to each other.

WERA will host a community forum on Saturday Nov. 21 (1-3pm, Crystal Ballroom, Empire Landmark Hotel at Robson & Broughton) to give residents of the West End an opportunity to share their concerns and thoughts with each other, and to become more informed about the proposed rezoning on Bidwell St. and on Comox St. We’ll review the steps in the rezoning process. We’ll talk about visioning the future of our community.

WERA views Vancouver’s future through three critical lenses: affordability, livability, and ecological sustainability. When we speak at City Council about rezoning applications, we ask these questions:

  • Do these projects create more affordability in our community?
  • What will this affordability look like?
  • How big are unit sizes, is this livable?
  • How will this project contribute to a sustainable city for the future? Does the project promote use of cars?
  • How will the commercial space contribute to economic vitality of our community?
  • What is our equity stake in this building? How much is the community giving up in development levies by the application of the STIR program in these developments? Is the rental stock we receive in return a worthy trade?

WERA presented these articles last year on the issues of housing, affordability, and Vancouver’s future:

Affordability facilitates diversity=economic vitality

What is the most excellent critical mass

Housing Authority for Vancouver

Again, WERA strongly encourages all residents to become involved in their community’s future by engaging in the public process. We also welcome feedback at WERA. See CONTACT US.

Housing Authority for Vancouver

How will Vancouver maintain its high quality of life if it loses its affordability? People from all over the world relocate in Vancouver. The city has a spectacular setting, situated in the valley of the Coastal Mountains, but increasingly Vancouver is becoming less affordable. The change in affordability is also going to affect the diversity of the city. Particular in the West End, where over 80% of residents are renters, keeping market rate rental units affordable is essential to ensure the neighbourhood’s diversity and to maintain and improve the livability of the community. Continue reading

WERA in the news: Christine Ackermann

WERA Director Christine Ackermann is quoted by Jackie Wong in the following West Ender article:

TRAC to handle olympic-related tenant disputes

By Jackie Wong

As part of its efforts to prevent unfair evictions during the lead-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the City of Vancouver has hired the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC) to help renters deal with Olympic-related tenancy issues. The City had originally set aside $40,000 for a tenant-assistance worker to start work this past spring, with the position remaining active through Games time. The position will now be shared among TRAC staff, who will hire additional part-time workers to help run a drop-in office at an as-yet-undetermined location. Continue reading