News / Vancouver

Vancouver tent city moves to new location ahead of court injunction

About 25 people are now living in a tent city near Franklin Street and Glen Drive

Robert Silva is a resident of the tent city at a city-owned vacant lot at 950 Main Street, on May 25, 2017. This site was also the site of a previous tent city 10 years ago.

Jennifer Gauthier/Metro

Robert Silva is a resident of the tent city at a city-owned vacant lot at 950 Main Street, on May 25, 2017. This site was also the site of a previous tent city 10 years ago.

A group of Vancouver residents packed up their belongings at 950 Main St. and moved to a new tent city Tuesday, ahead of a court injunction that gave them until noon Wednesday to leave.
 
About 25 residents, who call themselves the “Ten Year Tent City,” rented a moving truck and walked over to a lot at Franklin Street and Glen Drive in east Vancouver. They arrived at the new site around 7 p.m., according to activist Maria Wallstam, with the group Against Displacement.
 
The group will continue supporting tent cities until governments provide a suitable housing for the residents, she said.
 
“What it shows is tent cities are not going away. We need social housing units right now to solve the housing crisis. But in the meantime, people are taking place and creating what the government is failing to provide which is shelter, stability, and security.”
 
Housing activists, including Wallstam, participated in a sit-in during Tuesday’s city council meeting to highlight the need for more social housing at welfare or pension rates.
 
“The reason why we took over city council is we feel that the city is not taking action. We are still in a housing crisis and [the city] is not seeing it as a number one priority, especially when it comes to homelessness.”
 
Lu’ma Native Housing Society plans to build a 25-unit social housing building at 950 Main St., the previous site of the tent city, and signed a 60-year lease for the city-owned land earlier this month.

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