Have Your Say! Coal Harbour School & Social Housing Development

Co-op members: this development would be very beneficial to us, as our kids would now be able to go to school just one block away (this has been on the books since 1990, FYI). As members of a co-op, I can’t imagine that we would not be in favor of more social housing (badly needed in this city). There has been a lot of negative backlash from some of our more wealthy neighbours, so please make your voice heard.

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The City of Vancouver has filed an application to build an 11 storey tower next to the Coal Harbour Community Centre that will have a new elementary school for 340 children; a 65 child daycare facility; and 60 social housing units. 

To see a video about the proposal – please click the link below:
https://vimeo.com/491270784
 
The City is hosting a ‘virtual open house’ from January 4th to the 10th online at https://shapeyourcity.ca/480-broughton-st and has also provided supporting project material there too.
 
An Urban Design Panel is slated for January 20th by Webex.
 
The Development Board will hear and is expected to make their decision on March 22nd
 
So, it’s important that you visit and share your thoughts immediately as the deadline to submit online comments to the City is January 15th.  If you want to email the city directly, you can contact Chris.Miller@vancouver.ca.  She is the project facilitator and her number is 604-829-9783. 
 
If you want to register to speak for 5 minutes at the Development hearing on March 22nd, you may contact Kathy.Cermeno@vancouver.ca.
 
The school has always been contemplated in the official community development plan dating back to 1990, which was updated in 2002.  Our board has already communicated with the City to express our initial thoughts with respect to: The limited time to view the open house and submit comments;What the exact social housing mix will be;Are there going to be any ‘hard to house’ persons in the proposed accommodations;Who will manage the social housing;How the school enrollment be determined (ie. Are community residents guaranteed);Is there a commitment for additional policing in the area;Is there a security and traffic plan; and,Is the City better off to create more units at a more economical site (the costs once you factor in the land value puts each social housing unit at over $1 million). As of now, the city has responded to our initial inquiries as follows: “As Social Housing, at least 30% of the units will be occupied by households with incomes below the BC Housing housing income limits (HILs). The remaining units are anticipated to be at Low End of Market (LEM) rents. The affordability target will be finalized subject to the amount of senior government grants that can be secured. The HILs rents correspond to a household income range of a maximum of $55,500 to $78,000 as set by BC Housing for 2021 (applies as of December 1, 2020). These rates are at rent geared to income and are set at no more than 30% of income. The LEM rents correspond to the average rent for new construction (2005+) as published by CMHC. The income maximums of $74,150 for a studio and 1-bedroom LEM unit and $113,040 for a family sized LEM unit are based on the BC Housing Low and Moderate Income Limits for 2020.  The proposal for 60 units of social housing, includes 7 studio, 18 1-bedroom, 23 2-bedroom, and 12 3-bedroom units.”
 
“We have social and supportive housing along with childcares and schools in every neighbourhood in Vancouver and we do not provide a policing centre every time we open a new building. We rely on an experienced non-profit housing operator to operate and manage the social housing building. The housing operator is committed to managing the building safely and responsibly.
 
This housing is designed to be primarily for families with children and social housing is typically provided to people who cannot afford an equivalent unit in the market without paying too much of their income on rent.”
 
“The City has owned this site for a long period of time and the construction of the school, childcare and social housing fulfills the requirements of the Official Development Plan. By co-locating the social housing with childcare and an elementary school, the proposal allows for a social housing building opportunity that would otherwise be lost. The full construction cost of the project is $80,812,000, with $36,505,000 for the social housing and the remaining $44,307,000 for the childcare and the school. There is a need for social housing throughout Vancouver, including downtown. We know that land costs are higher in the downtown area and it would cost us a significant amount to purchase the land elsewhere in the area, when we have the opportunity to co-locate here.”
 
“There is a cost to building social housing and there is current senior government funding to assist in the cost of construction. Market rentals would still have a cost for construction for a private developer.  
 
The City does not typically sell its land if the zoning has requirements for social infrastructure.
 
This proposal contributes to meeting the requirements of the 1990 Coal Harbour Official Development Plan (updated in November 2002) for affordable housing with a priority on housing for core-need households (now referred to as the Housing Income Limit or HILs rate units) and with fifty percent of the affordable units to be suitable for families with children. The zoning bylaw CD-1 (365) for 301 Jervis Street approved by Council on November 26, 1996 (amended December 9, 2003), provided for the development of a co-located community centre (Phase 1) and school, childcare centre and non-market housing project on the Property (Phase 2).”

Masks Required In All Public Areas of Co-Op

Please take note and follow the most recent guidelines handed down from our Provincial Government on Thursday, November 19:

Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and workplaces. 

This means that masks must be worn while in co-op:

  • in the hallways
  • in the elevator
  • in the laundry rooms
  • in the parking and garbage/recycling rooms

In addition, social gatherings are limited to those within your bubble only.

No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:

  • Do not invite friends or extended family to your household 
  • Do not host gathering outdoors
  • Do not gather in your backyard
  • Do not have playdates for children

For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. An immediate household is a group of people who live in the same dwelling.

For others, including people who live alone, their core bubble may also contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.

For people who live alone, a core bubble is a maximum of two people you see regularly. They cannot host gatherings. 

Welcoming your child home from university is okay. This is not a social gathering. 

For more, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions

Voting in the Upcoming Provincial Election

If you are choosing to vote in person in the upcoming Provincial Election, here are your options:

  • Advance voting, Thursday, October 15 to Wednesday October 21 from 8 am to 8 pm at the following locations:
    • Best Western Sands Hotel 1755 Davie
    • Coal Harbour Community Centre, 480 Broughton
    • Vancouver Aquatic Centre, 1050 Beach Ave
    • West End Community Centre, 870 Denman St
  • General Voting Day, Saturday, October 24 from 8 am to 8pm at the Coal Harbour Community Centre

To vote, please bring with you your ID and please wear a mask, and practice social distancing while waiting.

Halloween & Holiday Gatherings

Please note the following important notice from the Board of Directors regarding Halloween and other upcoming Holiday gatherings:

The Health and Safety of our members is our first priority and so, keeping with the guidelines of the BC Centre for Disease Control, we ask:

  • absolutely no door to door trick or treating
  • do not leave bowls of candy out for kids to rummage through
  • have a small home or outdoor meetup with your family/friends, but no big parties

Please continue to “stay in your bubble,” practice social distancing and wear a mask to protect yourself and others. The BOD thanks everyone for doing a great job keeping our community safe from COVID 19 infection!

Thank you very much for your cooperation!
chhcbod@gmail.com

A Very COVID Halloween

Needless to say, Halloween is going to look very different this year. Members of the social committee are working on putting together a plan for safe trick-or-treating, but in the mean time, this article has some great ideas for having a fun and safe halloween during a global pandemic.

BC Provincial Election: Oct 24

Perhaps not the greatest timing to call an election during a global pandemic, but an election has been called for October 24.

Here are the options to vote safely:

  1. Do a mail-in ballot. Click here to request your mail-in voters package. Please note that earlier versions of the mail-in ballot will not have candidate’s names on them (nominations don’t close until Oct 2). You have to write in the name of the candidate you are voting for OR the name of the party you’re voting for. Don’t write the name of the leader of the party unless you are in his or her riding (we’re not). Then just put the ballot in the mail, or drop it off to the Elections Canada office on the corner of Alberni and Cardero.
  2. You can vote in an advance poll. October 5-October 21 from 8 am to 8 pm you will be able to do an advance poll. This will likely be less crowded than on actual voting day. Advance polling will take place at 747 Cardero.
  3. October 24 8 am to 8 pm, locations TBA.

If you’re voting in person (advance or on Oct 24) you need to bring:

  • Valid ID that shows your name and home address.
  • Your Where to Vote card. Look for it in the mail from Elections BC before advance voting starts. Bringing it with you to the voting place will make voting faster and easier.
  • Your own pen or pencil to mark your ballot, if you wish.
  • A mask to wear in the voting place, if you wish. We encourage voters to wear a mask when they vote to protect others. You will not be asked to remove your mask to vote. Learn more about voting safely and COVID-19.

Currently the only candidate nominated and running is the incumbent, Spencer Chandra Herbert. Check the Elections Canada website to see updates of nominees. We are in the Vancouver West End riding.

UPDATE: here’s a great article about the 4 candidates in the neighbourhood. Scroll down a bit to the second article.

Back to School Safely

Well, who knew we’d be adding “back to school in the middle of a global pandemic” to our list of things to do this year?

Here are a few things you can do to make the transition safely back to school:

  • Buy two sets of supplies, one for school and one for home, so that there’s no bringing stuff from school to home and vice versa.
  • Send your kids to school with already filled water bottles to avoid using school water fountains.
  • Purchase several masks in cute colours or patterns. This way, there’s always a clean one available if one is being washed. There’s a better chance they will wear the masks if they like them or think they are cute.
  • Attach the mask to a lanyard they can wear around their neck so that they don’t lose it when they aren’t wearing it.
  • Purchase extra pencil cases with individual pockets at the dollar store. Label each pocket for clean masks, dirty masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc.
  • Remind your kids there is no sharing of food at recess/snack/lunchtime.
  • It’s a good idea to practice at home things like wearing a mask, handwashing/sanitizing and social distancing, so that they get more used to it before school.
  • Talk to your kids and understand that they may have more anxiety than usual about going back to school this year.

Tips and guidelines from the Government of Canada
BC’s Back to School Plan

AGM August 27

Normally, we hold our AGM before the summer, but COVID took care of that. The CHHC AGM will take place Thursday, August 27 at 7 pm, and it will be hybrid of in-person (max 15 because of social distancing) and online using Zoom.

If you are new to Zoom, you can download the program here. Zoom works on your desktop/laptop, on your mobile device or your tablet. Click here to join the meeting, and here’s a video that shows you how to do it.

Agendas and Financial Statements should have been delivered to your door by now.

BC Emergency Benefit

From an email from Spencer Chandra Herbert:

Who is eligible for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers?

  • To be eligible for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers you must:
    • have a valid Social Insurance Number,
    • be eligible for and approved to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    • be a resident of B.C. on March 15, 2020
    • have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return
    • be at least 15 years old on the date you apply
    • not be receiving provincial Income Assistance or Disability Assistance
      • The Province will provide everyone receiving income or disability assistance who is not receiving EI or the CERB will automatically receive a $300 COVID-19 Crisis Supplement on their cheques for the next three months, starting in April. This includes people receiving a Comforts Allowance or the B.C. Senior’s Supplement.
  • This includes people who have run out of employment insurance (EI) benefits and are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
  • This includes people who are self-employed and had to close their business or reduce their hours and are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
  • If eligible, payments will start to go out within days of approval.

You can apply for this benefit online today, or by phone starting Monday, May 4th.

The benefit is a one-time only tax free payment of $1000.

Virtual Town Hall Tonight

CHF -BC is hosting a virtual town hall tonight, April 22, at 6pm for housing co-ops.

The webinar will include:

  • impact of COVID-19 on co-op operations
  • Health and safety advice for members and staff
  • Government assistance for co-ops and co-op members
  • Board and member meetings in a virtual world
  • CHF BC services during a pandemic

Register here. If you can’t make the meeting tonight, a recording will be posted on their website.