REGISTER: April 6 Workshop with City Planners on Joyce Development

Register online for this week’s Workshop with the City of Vancouver planners!

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[UPDATE: After JARA began calling residents on the phone and registering them, we were able to fill all 70 spots!! If you are unable to make it but want to have a say, please e-mail paula.huber@vancouver.ca and joyceareaRA@gmail.com. Tell the City we need MORE casual sessions like this!]

Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm at Collingwood Neighbourhood House

Mandatory Registration: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/plan-talk-tickets-24035971237

JARA and community members have had a big win. The City will host two more information sessions to engage our community about the City’s plans for Joyce Station.

Modeled after our last successful JARA Community Dialogue, the City of Vancouver will host a workshop for residents on a variety of topics:

  • Transportation and pedestrian connections
  • Housing affordability
    • We have to keep this neighbourhood affordable for the working class!
  • Amenities
    • (the City doesn’t have a clear idea of what we need!)
  • Building types and heights
    • let’s get a clear picture of what we actually need and some evidence as to why!

This is a great opportunity to have our questions answered on the spot by City staff. Please attend and bring your ideas and concerns. It is a positive sign to see the City working with us but we still need to ensure that decisions made with the community are built into the new plans.

There are 19 spots left [UPDATE: the event is now waitlist only]. Let’s keep pushing for genuine consultation and real commitments from city planners. Recognized as stakeholders by the City, JARA had a big hand in crafting these workshops.

See you on Wednesday! http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/plan-talk-tickets-24035971237

Joyce Area Residents Association Organizing Team

(more info: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/joyce-collingwood-station-precinct-review.aspx under “progress”)

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Joyce Residents Pushback Against Rushed Development with Community Dialogue

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The Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) has been engaging hundreds of residents to advocate for more community oriented planning with the City of Vancouver. The Joyce Station Precinct Review will allow for at least five new towers (as high as 26 storeys), apartments and town homes right around Joyce skytrain station.

From the beginning, JARA has been adamant about resisting displacement of our most vulnerable community members, including renters and seniors. Throughout the planning process, JARA has continued to read relevant policies and papers, examine the plans and engage residents to voice concerns and ask questions.

Single Family Home Surveys (SFH)

Renfrew Collingwood, home to many working-class, immigrant families, has been deemed the second densest neighbourhood in Vancouver after the West End. For this reason, the recent inclusion of 179 single family homes in the plans for re-zoning has baffled residents. JARA did the grunt work and went to survey all 179 homes and were able to reach 93. Overall, at least 40% of the Single Family Homes have renters. Overwhelmingly, residents asserted that they want to stay in the neighbourhood. We found at least 12 different languages spoken, which speaks to the rich diversity of our vibrant community. Please take a look at our report to check out our findings. JARA Community Dialogue Report March 2016

Community Dialogue

On March 2nd, JARA organized a Community Dialogue with residents and community members. A volunteer from St. Mary’s Parish, Jack Ong, came to speak about the church’s decision to join the re-zoning plans. Around 35 community members joined us to have discussions in small groups in a world cafe style. Each group brainstormed questions that they had for city planners and ways to better engage and celebrate our neighbourhood through block parties.

Here are some photos of engaged community members that want to have a greater say in re-zoning and planning near the station.

JARA continues to advocate for more community input being directly applied to the plans for our area, more language accessibility in our 73% ESL neighbourhood and more protections for truly affordable housing in relation to the median income of our area.

 

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We will continue to advocate for fair and reasonable development that preserves the affordability and culture of our neighbourhood through more community events, meetings with stakeholders and communications with the City of Vancouver.

City planners have said that the plans will go before City Council in June 2016. You can submit comments at anytime to city planners working on this project by emailing joycestationreview@vancouver.ca.

Stay in touch with us joyceareaRA@gmail.com or tweet us @joyceareaRA

 

Last Day for Comments on City’s Plans for Joyce Area

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Hi folks! Today (March 4) is the last day to submit comments to the City for the Joyce Station Precinct Review. If you have been following our work, you know that we have been engaging hundreds of our neighbours and community members.

We want fair, accessible and community oriented city planning and consultation. We are asking to preserve the affordability of our neighbourhood and resisting displacement. You can support low-income and working class families by hitting some of these points in your online comments.

-The Tenant Relocation policy will not protect families being priced out or displaced if they live in Single Family Homes. (JARA surveyed all homes in the City’s plans and majority wish to Stay in the neighbourhood).

-Will seniors in Columbus Tower, which is a 100% social housing building for seniors ($450-600/month) be protected and relocated? Please make public the plan for these seniors and be proactive about communicating with the tenants.

-The City does not have a clear definition of what “affordable” is. It should be based on the current median income of the families that reside in the joyce area now.

-The City suggests there is opportunity for more affordable housing units. BC Housing was called and they are unaware of the opportunity to collaborate with the City. Please provide a statement from BC Housing on facts and figures for your social housing plans. 

-Our neighbourhood is 73% ESL we need more language accessibility for consultation.

-The City does not have a clear idea of what amenities are needed by the community. Our community dialogues and surveys show that our neighbours want a recreational facility, a library and seniors centre.

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Above all, city planners should not be advancing the plans at such a fast pace. It is said that the plans will go before City Council in June. In the past, city planners, developers and residents met monthly for 7 years to plan our area. Please work with JARA and other community members to plan for the community not just profitability.

Submit your comments by clicking “tell us what you think”

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/joyce-collingwood-station-precinct-review.aspx

Community Dialogue hosted at Collingwood Neighbourhood House V5R 6C9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needed:Volunteer Translators to Discuss Development & Displacement in Joyce Area

 

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The Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) is conducting our own research through neighbourhood surveys. Our vibrant community is made up of 73% ESL (or English as an Additional Language) residents and community members. In an effort to model language accessibility for the City of Vancouver, we want to make our outreach and engagement as multi-lingual as possible. We hope that this will encourage them to make future consultation processes more accessible to all language groups.

Can you volunteer to communicate in any of these languages?

  • Mandarin or Cantonese
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese
  • Punjabi
  • Hindi
  • Korean
  • Spanish

other languages are also welcome! Help is needed depending on which language groups we encounter while surveying.

We would really appreciate your help to conduct very short surveys (one page, 7-10 minutes) with residents in our area in person or over the phone. This data accumulation will help us advocate for the most vulnerable members of our community when pushing back against major unaffordable development in our neighbourhood.

We would send all materials ahead of time for you to review and provide you with the talking points. Please get in touch if you are happy to help us resist displacement at joyceareaRA@gmail.com . Thanks for sending this along to your multi-lingual friends :).

Testimonies: Danger of City’s Joyce Area Plans from renter, homeowner & local business

The Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) set up a speakers line-up on the same day as the City open house for the Joyce Station Precinct review, in which the City of Vancouver is proposing to re-zone the area for towers as tall as 35 storeys.

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JARA members organized a speakers line-up with a renter, homeowner and local business owner to speak on our community’s key concerns. After the speeches, JARA members wore signs and pins into the City open house to examine the plans. Here are some of the key quotes from the speakers line up.

JARA is particularly concerned about how renters in the area will be impacted. The City’s statistics from the plans have even shown how high the rate of renters is in our neighbourhood. These people are particularly vulnerable to being priced out.

David, renter in the area being reno-victed

“I am a local renter. I’ve rented in the neighbourhood for just over 2 years now. Ive got to do some amazing things and met amazing people. I got a chance to organize an event at Collingwood Neighbourhood House so it’s been great but I have to admit that it’s been very challenging as well. Our family has moved now about 6 times in the past 10 years. It’s been extremely difficult for us to find housing that is affordable and that we can actually stay in for a long time. We thought Joyce would be the perfect spot because it seems like it is really affordable. But…just a few weeks ago, we were given notice by our landlord that we have to move out. As you know, the housing market is really hot right now. Rental properties, like the one that I live in, are the first to go. I’m hoping ot stay in the neighbourhood, we are looking for places. My huge concern around the development that is happening in the Joyce area is that it’s going to create more issues for more residents, specifically residents who cannot afford to live in high-rises. What about the residents? What about social housing? What about people who can’t afford to live in really expensive places? We need to make sure that everyone has places that they can afford to live in.”

Homeowners have also expressed that they want to be able to stay in the community and want to stop being pestered by developers and real estate agents to sell.

Jeffery C., howeowner in the area

“I currently live with my grandmother in a house that would be directly affected by this precinct review if it goes ahead. We have been getting a lot of mail, and door-to-door visitors from real estate agents asking us to sell. It has been creating a great sense of unease. My grandmother is disabled and unable to move, and it would be a huge burden on her and the family. I am also writing on behalf of my neighbours, if indeed they have not expressed these concerns already. The house beside me is a bungalow with three generations living together. They have a self-sustaining garden in the backyard. This is not an anomaly. There are, in fact, many houses like this, where multiple generations of families live together in the same dwelling. This is part of the culture and reality of the neighbourhood. It is a family-oriented and closely-knit area. There is a great sense of community and safety in this neighbourhood. If the proposed Joyce-Collingwood increased density changes were to go through, this community element would be removed. These families would be displaced, and would have to relocate somewhere else. My family has lived in this neighbourhood since 1959. Overtime, if has seen great change – some good, some bad – but for the most part, the change has been organic and gradual. The current proposed changes (Joyce-Collingwood precinct review) would be devastating.”

JARA is very proud of local, immigrant-owned businesses that have been thriving for many years at Joyce skytrain station. Initially, business owners were unaware of any development plans. JARA organizers visited every business near Joyce skytrain and shocked owners with the news. JARA pushed the City to meet and inform business owners of the plans that could displace them.

Sam, owner of Super Great Pizza aka Joyce Pizza (an east van favourite)
“I’ve been in this community for almost 20 years. One day, we heard that we are not good enough in maybe shortcoming years, we will not be here. 10 families are working because of us. Altogether, maybe 60 or 70 members of these families are going to lose everything. They are gonna go, maybe..I don’t know where. They are going to be out of the job, out of hope. This is not fair. Super guys with the money comes and they want to get everything. We shouldn’t surrender oru communities for the big corporation. As much as we can, we have to resist and say no. This is our community and this is our people. It shouldnt be too easy for them to take over our community. So goodluck, guys. We are going to win.”

In the words of JARA organizer, Chanel Ly, resident of over 10 years 

My family were refugees fleeing a war-torn country and we find ourselves here defending what we have. The City is trying to change our community without our consent. We are here to stop rapid, unjust development that we fear will displace important members of our community and transform our neighbourhood to something we will no longer recognize. The City of Vancouver will be revealing the next phase of the (Review), which would identify housing opportunities in two blocks around Joyce station. They have proposed rezoning for apartments, town homes and towers up to 35 storeys. So far, there’s no commitment for providing truly affordable housing or culturally appropriate community amenities. The Development is clearly not for us. The City’s planning revolves around the so-called “transit oriented development”. The City’s need for this kind of development doesn’t have enough data or research to back it up. They refuse to conduct a proper assessment of these impacts. This is what you can call “transit-induced displacement”.

Stay tuned for more updates about what we learned at the City open houses on Feb. 3 and Feb. 6, including a deal between the church and the City. St. Mary’s has been fundraising for over 2 years to get money for their own church development. The City made a deal with them that will displace seniors in the Columbus Tower, a 100% social housing building for seniors. We will have more on this in another post.

Please share these testimonies with others so that they can understand the real impact that these plans are having on our community. If you would like to support our work, please sign our petition to the City.

Get in touch at joyceareaRA@gmail.com.

We tweet more than we post @joyceareaRA.

 

 

Feb 6. Join JARA for Critical Review of City Plans for Joyce

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JARA members gathered for a speakers line-up to hear concerns about the plans on Feb 3.

This Saturday, Feb 6, 2016 could be Renfrew-Collingwood’s last chance to review the City’s plans to drastically change the low-income, immigrant neighbourhood forever.

The best thing that we can do is familiarize ourselves with the most current proposal and identify which parts we accept and which parts we need to reject. Please join the Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) for the second City open house on Saturday, Feb 6 at 11am at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House for the Joyce Station Precinct Review to walk through and digest these plans together.

At the first open house, our members gathered to hear some of the concerns of folks in the area that fear displacement and the loss of affordable housing options in our area. The most vulnerable citizens in our community like immigrants, renters and seniors are not being given enough time to have their say or understand the impacts. Columbus Tower senior residents, for instance, will likely lose their homes. Development also puts all of our immigrant owned businesses in jeopardy.

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Let’s figure out how much this community is willing to lose and what opportunities we have to gain together. Communities not Condos!

If you are unable to attend, please lend support by signing our online petition.

JARA is calling an all members meeting on March 2, 2016 from 7-8:30pm. We will need folks to be engaged with the work before then so please reach out with your concerns and how you can offer help at joyceareaRA@gmail.com.

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Today: Join JARA to Speak Out against Displacement

The Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA) is inviting all housing advocates to join us at a press conference today, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at 4:30pm. Speakers, including a JARA organizer, a homeowner, a renter and a business owner, will share their concerns about the City’s plans for market-rate development in the area. We are resisting displacement in our community and would appreciate your presence.
If you are unable to attend and want to support our work, please sign our petition here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/we-love-renfrew-collingwood-development-without-displacement
Thank you for your solidarity.
Joyce Area Residents Association (JARA)
Any questions or concerns? joyceareaRA@gmail.com
Tweet us: @joyceareaRA