Image: Philadelphia Balconies #2

February 5, 2022

Alma Blackwell Gets Media

February 5, 2022


Regular readers will recall that we have been tracking the issues with the Alma Blackwell housing project on Adanac Street. We began last September with the Killing of Alma Blackwell, and followed up with a couple of updates here and here.

I have stayed in touch with the residents in the project, and they are still anxious and concerned about the future of the building and, of course, their own ability to stay in their preferred affordable housing. They have written letters to their housing society and both civic and provincial officials but have yet to receive the assurances they need.

Their latest attempt to bring their problems to public attention has been a useful piece on Global TV News this week which helps explain the community the long-term residents feel for the property:

“I’ve lived in co-ops before, this was the closest I could get to that — being in a community, neighbours helping each other — thinking about not being here is pretty hard.”

BC Housing Minister David Eby assures residents they will have the opportunity to return to the site once it is redeveloped “under the new rent rates.” That is hardly any consolation when “the rent is expected to increase by more than double for some tenants — from $1,600 for a three-bedroom unit to $3,250.”

When and if this re-development moves ahead at City Council, I hope our wider Grandview community will speak up for these women and their families, and help them retain what has become one of a disappearingly small number of successful and affordable spaces in our neighbourhood.