Release: 5th Annual Women’s Housing March and DTES Block Party to Block Condos and Gentrification

ATTN: ALL NEWS EDITORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5th ANNUAL DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE WOMEN’S HOUSING MARCH AND DTES BLOCK PARTY TO BLOCK CONDOS AND GENTRIFICATION

SATURDAY SEP 17
WOMEN’S HOUSING MARCH @ 1:30 PM AT COLUMBIA AND CORDOVA
DTES BLOCK PARTY @ 4 PM AT MAIN AND HASTINGS

September 14 2011, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories- In response to the persistent violence of poverty and homelessness, the Power of Women Group of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is organizing the “5th Annual March for Women’s Housing” on Saturday September 17th, starting at 1:30 pm at Columbia and Cordova.

The march calls on all levels of government to commit to safe and long-term affordable housing. Women in the Downtown Eastside are calling for safe, affordable, healthy and inclusive housing for low-income residents to be a priority. “Without safe and affordable housing, many women are forced into unsafe and violent situations, leading to the ongoing tragedies of child apprehensions and women being murdered.”

The group is planning to stop at sites of gentrification in the DTES and to educate city residents about the negative impacts that higher-income condos, restaurants and boutique stores are having on the low-income community. According the group, “The tsunami of gentrification through condo projects and upscale businesses has created a crisis of increased rents, enhanced security and police presence, and us feeling unwelcome in our neighbourhood.”

Immediately following the Women’s Housing March, the Stop Pantages Condos Coalition is hosting a Block Party to Block Condos on the 100-Block of E. Hastings St. The Block Party will feature music, food, interactive arts, performances, skits, and statements from residents who will call for health and safety conditions today and social housing tomorrow.

Mona Woodward, spokesperson for the Stop Pantages Condos Coalition and Executive Director of Aboriginal Front Door Society said, “We are holding a Block Party against condos on the 100-block because we have to raise awareness throughout the city that we are under attack. The 100-block includes important services like AFD which represents off-reserve
Aboriginal people. For us, the fight against gentrification is also against colonialism. The 100-block is also home to vulnerable women, drug users, seniors, and more than 400 low-income residents who live in substandard hotels. The priority should be building social housing not condos. The block party is a declaration that the community will not abandon the 100-block to gentrifying real estate speculators and
investors.”

–30–

MEDIA CONTACT:
Harsha Walia 778-885-0040
Mona Woodward: 604-697-5662

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