Photos: Affordable housing demonstration in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
Women’s groups and housing advocates walked through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Saturday (September 17) to call for more safe and affordable housing in the neighbourhood.
The 5th annual women’s housing march, which was organized by The Power of Women Group at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, was also intended as a protest against condo development and gentrification in the area. A group of organizations recently launched a boycott of a proposed development in the 100-block of East Hastings.
“We want to see affordable housing, we don’t want these condominiums coming in, and we don’t want the rich pushing out the poor,” said Stella August, a member of the Power of Women group who has lived in the area for 40 years.
“We need safe housing for our women especially."
The march came a day after the body of 50-year-old Verna Simard was found on the sidewalk below her sixth-floor suite at the Regent Hotel. Vancouver police are investigating her death.
Demonstrators paid tribute to the Downtown Eastside resident during the march Saturday. Members of the Power of Women group described Simard as very friendly, and said the aboriginal woman had worked in the community for years and was well-known among residents.