The Pew Research Centre has published interesting results from a survey on inequality — or rather, attitudes to inequality — in the United States.
Views on the importance (or lack thereof) of tackling economic inequality tend to be a function of the respondent’s current economic situation:
“Asked about what contributes to economic inequality in this country, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to point to structural factors, such as the tax system (56% of Democrats vs. 30% of Republicans say this contributes a great deal) and problems with the U.S. educational system (49% vs. 38%). In turn, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that the different life choices people make (60% of Republicans vs. 27% of Democrats) and some people working harder than others (48% vs. 22%) contribute a great deal to economic inequality.”
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that no-one seems to have mentioned it, but capitalism is inherently unequal. The tax and education systems, the choices and the effort one puts into work are almost irrelevant to the systemic inequality that capitalism requires for it to function.
Brightside Community Homes Foundation runs two small seniors’ buildings on E. 12th just east of Clark. They currently have 57 social housing units on site. The Foundation is seeking to demolish the current buildings and erect two larger structures to house more than 150 seniors.
According to an article in the Courier:
“Loyal Orange Manor and Edward Byers House cater to people over 55 years of age. Rents are geared to income. The buildings, which were built in 1962 and 1971, are showing their age and don’t have accessibility features such as elevators, according to Brightside CEO William Azaroff. He said features such as elevators are critical for buildings where people want to age in place. “Anything added to code over the last 40 years [like a sprinkler system] will be in the [redevelopment],” he added. “So there will be a lot of modern amenities but also universal design standards for accessibility.”
The issue with many developments such as this is what happens to the current residents while the new building is constructed. However, that seems to be taken care of in this instance:
“Azaroff said Brightside is exceeding the City of Vancouver’s tenant relocation requirements. Staff are meeting with current tenants individually to assess their needs and determine where they can be relocated in Brightside’s portfolio of buildings based on considerations such as location and size of unit. “We’ll pay their costs and an honorarium for them to move. Their rent stays the same in the sense that it’s geared to income,” he said. “As long as their income stays the same, the rent stays the same. When the project is done, they will have the option to move back into that building or they can stay put if they like the unit they relocated to. We want to give them maximum options.”
I believe this is exactly the kind of supported housing development that we need in Grandview. I hope that the entire community will get behind and support it. An open house about the project runs from 5 to 8 p.m., Feb. 4, at the Lakeview Multicultural United Church.