Orange Is The New Green – A Promise to Bring Vancouver Renters Closer Together

1425 East 12th Avenue and 1451 East 12th Avenue
With the dire shortage of low income senior’s housing in Vancouver, this is one project we would expect to receive wide acclaim. After all, despite a recent re-branding, Brightside Community Homes Foundation has been looking after our city’s most vulnerable residents for almost 70 years. Admittedly, neither Hannah nor I are sure why they updated their name, but a simple truth is that nothing lasts forever, as all things in life eventually change.

Which is why the only thing surprising about their recent announcement to update five of their existing properties is that they have the resources available to do it.  Unfortunately this is largely self-financed , as funding from senior levels of government has been lacking for decades. This means that, despite their best efforts to care for these homes, they no longer feel appropriate for today’s demands.

Loyal Orange Notice 1.jpg

Fortunately, the Grandview Woodland Community Plan allows these properties to respond to that challenge. In addition to nearly tripling the amount of homes offered here, this unified six storey building will help address our city’s recently declared climate emergency too. Of course, it doesn’t seem possible to update the roughly 60 year old Edward Byers House and Loyal Orange Manor to these new strict sustainability guidelines, as it would likely be extremely cost prohibitive and still cause disruption.

However, this new building will benefit more than just the community, as it will improve the lives of its existing residents too. The extra insulation and thicker windows means the traffic noise from East 12th Avenue should be blocked out, and the residents will appreciate the warmer homes. Though, regardless of their, the addition of an elevator is something that residents and visitors alike will appreciate the most.

That said, these elderly renters will likely be most concerned about whether they will be able to return home. Obviously there’s no way to prevent any disruption to their lives, as it wouldn’t be possible to keep people housed in a construction zone, but they can rest assured their home will wait for them. Not only is Brightside claiming to meet Vancouver’s Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy, they say they will exceed it, and plan to allow all residents to return at the same income tested rates.

Loyal Orange Notice 2

While all of this may make opposition to this project seem unthinkable, that probably won’t be the case. Yet we don’t expect it to come from local groups, even if some are concerned about the impacts of the redevelopment of the Lakeview Multicultural United Church a couple blocks to the east. Rather, the most critical voices are ones that, based on their very name, would seem most likely to support this project.

Nonetheless, the Vancouver Tenants Union has protested a similar proposal in Hastings-Sunrise. It’s hard to know why any group concerned about tenant’s rights would be opposed to low income seniors having a better home to return to. Perhaps we’re simply missing a key piece of info, which is why it’s important to come out to this project’s open house house on July 24th between 5pm – 7pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

Applicant Team Information:

Developer  Brightside Community Homes Foundation

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