Boffo Properties and their allies, including City planners, have claimed for several years that the only way to achieve an expansion in the good work performed by the Kettle Friendship Society in Grandview is to impose a huge for-profit tower on this low-rise neighbourhood. Their multiple PR companies have tried hard — and no doubt spent a good fortune — to sell this unimaginative “our-way-or-the-highway” project.
The No Tower Coalition and its thousands of supporters have found many reasonable reasons to oppose the Boffo Tower at Venables & Commercial; and they have not been quiet in expressing that opposition. However, much more importantly, they have taken the time and effort to put together a number of alternative positive solutions to getting the Kettle the expansion it needs without throwing our beautiful community under the unfeeling wheels of the developer’s bus.
Now, they have produced even more evidence that a community-friendly alternative is possible; after all, their suggested solutions have been put in place successfully elsewhere, including for the Kettle at Kingsway.
These new suggestions don’t even take into account the fact that both BC Housing and the City of Vancouver in the last few weeks have put serious money into projects remarkably similar to the Kettle’s requirements on Commercial. Nor do they include the Federal government’s new commitment to funding such projects
The facts are clear: the claim made over many years by the Kettle, Boffo, and City planners that there is no money available for projects of this kind is certainly no longer true. Whatever excuses that may have been used in the past to justify having mental health housing kidnapped by profit-driven developers have evaporated.
It is high time that the Kettle and City Planning started to talk to the community about solutions that the neighbourhood can get behind.