Nothing polarizes quite like gentrification and activism
Your article displays a surprising lack of understanding of the role of gentrifying businesses in displacement by laying the cultural and economic groundwork for high-priced market-housing developments [“ Restaurants respond to antipoverty activists”, May 3-10].
Increased market housing in low-income areas raises property values and makes rents unaffordable for low-income residents, businesses, social services, and community spaces.
Higher property values also create an economic incentive for private owners of existing low-income housing to evict tenants to replace them with higher-priced rentals or condos that the former residents cannot afford.
While Save on Meats and other businesses are not condo developments, they are essential antecedents as they provide free advertising for potential developers, as well as catering to the needs of high-income purchasers once they move into the neighbourhood.
> Gregory Williams / DTES Not for Developers Coalition
Downtown Eastside activist Ivan Drury’s choice of words is very revealing. He slams new restaurants because of the “violent” impact they are having on his neighbourhood.
However, he says absolutely nothing about the devastating impact of hard-core street drugs. This deafening silence just shows that antipoverty activists cannot even identify the real enemy within their community.
> John Clench / Vancouver