Washington Hotel residents against Sequel 138 Condos
The Washington Hotel is a hard-to-house hotel. We are illicit drinkers, drug users, and we struggle with our mental and physical health. We are the people who are not wanted by developers and condo owners.
It’s a struggle to live in the Washington and we’re under a lot of stress, but if we can’t stay here, where are we supposed to go? Many of us have lived here for longer than 10 years. This is our home. This is our community.
The Washington has always been housing for working class low-income people. Twenty-five years ago the landlord put in sprinklers and threw everybody out to try to rent to tourists for Expo. He didn’t get one single rental. The next guy, Jack Spitz, took the radiators out of the hallway and said, “I ain’t paying to heat the hallway.” Then he ran the building right down and sold it to the city. Since then it’s been housing for us hard to house people.
Eventually, if they bring rich people here even this building could become housing for people with more money and without the struggles that we have. It has already happened at the Burns Block, the Lotus, the American Hotels and many more. We know that city hall would like to see us all gone, just like they did before Expo.
Healthy housing for low-income people
We don’t have housing options, we have housing ultimatums: Live in this 10X10 room without the privacy of your own bathroom, and without the health, food, and hygiene choices of having your own kitchen, or go back to the street.
We badly need affordable apartments for poor people. The big shots are coming in and pushing poor people aside. That’s why we have poor people living on the street collecting bottles to try to make ends meet. Those people on the street are disabled people. They’re the people with the most need. We need better housing way fucking quicker than they need condos.
Need to build something by the people, for the people, to help the people, because we are the people. And we need housing with our own bathroom and kitchens.
They’re gong to make the 100-block into snob hill
We hardly ever go around Woodward’s because we can’t afford to go there and there’s nothing there for us. They don’t hire us and they don’t sell things for us. The city is making places in our neighbourhood for other people, people who have money.
If the city lets a private developer build condos and boutique shops across the street from the Washington Hotel the culture of our community will change. We don’t need fancy clothing boutiques and $10 sandwich cafes. We need good housing, good food, and coffee shops and social spaces for us. People with more money can go wherever they want. This is the one place we have where we feel comfortable.
No condos, no boutiques, no yuppies, no snobs, no more cops on the 100-block. We need our community! We need our homes!