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Downtown Eastside local area plan goes to council

The City of Vancouver is unveiling their proposed local area plan for the Downtown Eastside to the media today.

The city says the plan will “guide change and development in the Downtown Eastside” over the next 30 years.

5,065 participants, many of them neighbourhood residents, were involved in the plan’s development, according to the city.

The Downtown Eastside is currently home to approximately 18,500 residents, 67 per cent who are considered low-income. 6,300 of those residents are on social assistance.

The median household income in the area is only $13,691, compared to $47,299 citywide.

The city says Vancouver needs 9,400 new units of social and supportive housing over the next 30 years. The city is proposing to locate two-thirds of that housing in the Downtown Eastside, and one-third outside of the neighbourhood.

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In the Oppenheimer neighbourhood of the Downtown Eastside, the city is proposing a social and rental housing zone.

If the plan is approved, new high-density developments will have to contain 60 per cent social housing, and 40 per cent “secured market” rental housing units.

No condos would be permitted in the area, roughly surrounding Oppenheimer Park. Condos would be permitted in other areas of the neighbourhood, such as Chinatown, Victory Square and Hastings near Clark Drive.

The city also hopes to attract new retailers to Hastings Street, including an affordable grocery store.

City council will consider the plan on March 12.

View a PDF of the plan:

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