Little Mountain social housing complex mostly empty 10 years after being slated for redevelopment

Click to play video: 'Little Mountain 10 years later'
Little Mountain 10 years later
WATCH: It has been 10 years since the Little Mountain social housing site was slated for redevelopment, and the site still sits mostly vacant. Critics say it's a blight on the government's already poor housing record. Nadia Stewart reports – Apr 8, 2017

Ten years have passed since Vancouver’s largest social housing complex was slated for redevelopment, but the property remains mostly empty.

In 2007, the residents of the Little Mountain social housing complex were told that they had to leave. The 1950s-era housing complex, which contained 224 low-income units, had been sold by the province to a private developer.

The residents left on the promise that they could return once a new development, which would include social housing units, was built.

In 2009, there were only four families left on the property and demolition of all but one of the buildings began.

From 2016: A look at Little Mountain redevelopment

Click to play video: 'Little Mountain redevelopment'
Little Mountain redevelopment

The remaining families received eviction notices in 2011 and were told the construction of a new complex was imminent.

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Now in 2017, only 54 of those new replacement units have been built, according to David Chudnovsky of Community Advocates for Little Mountain (CALM), an advocacy group that held a rally Saturday at the corner of 37th Avenue and Ontario Street.

From 2014: Little Mountain the subject a new documentary

“The B.C. Liberal government justified this redevelopment saying that it needed to be transformed into a mixed-income integrated community,” former resident Tommy Thomson said Saturday.

“This was a very rich community, rich in social capital. The neighbours helped each other out and they tore that apart by relocating all these tenants.”

Linda Shuto of CALM said the empty lot speaks volumes about the province’s commitment to social housing.

“They had an opportunity to make this a model. It could have been a federal, provincial and city project that could have been a model of mixed housing,” she said. “There could have been hundreds and hundreds of affordable housing [units]. Instead we have a vacant lot, a big hole in the ground for 10 years.”
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– With files from Nadia Stewart and Yulilya Talmazan

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