Opponents of Chinatown condos plan protest at open house today

A revised proposal for 105 Keefer Street in Chinatown is three storeys shorter, and is likely to be constructed.

Opponents of Beedie Living’s nine-storey condominium project in Chinatown say they’ll be out in force at today’s open house.

The contentious project at Keefer and Columbia has been revised four times in hopes of gaining approval from the city. The building’s height was reduced by three storeys — but that also meant that the previously-included social housing units were removed.

The latest version of the project is within zoning guidelines for Chinatown, so it’s likely to be approved by the city, but opponents vow to keep fighting.

“Beedie Living claims to believe in the importance of forging relationships and giving back to the communities in which they build, yet they are clearly ignoring the needs and desires of the community for affordable social housing and a public, community space,” says Yuly Chan of the Chinatown Action Group.

Activists say it’s irresponsible of the city to approve more residential condos in Chinatown, when social housing is so desperately needed.

They say that 398 new market-rate housing units opened last year in Chinatown, but only 11 new units at welfare/pension rates were added.

“It is irresponsible for any developer to build luxury condos in Chinatown when poor and working-class people are in dire need of affordable housing in this neighbourhood. Both Beedie Living and the City of Vancouver know that if this application is approved, it will intensify the poverty and affordability crisis in Chinatown,” says King-mong Chan of the Chinatown Concern Group.

The open house gets underway today (Tuesday, September 5) at the Chinese Cultural Centre, 50 East Pender St. at 5:30 p.m.