This episode looks into isolation tenants face in Vancouver. First, Victoria Spooner relays the benefits and obstacles of having a pet in British Columbia. She talks to aspirational pet owners, as well as Pets OK BC organizer Elliot Galan. Afterwards, Yijia Zhang's piece “My Night Shift After Work" shares a sensory feeling to illustrate how long commutes and housing conditions add up to unmanageable amounts of household labour.
A long workday is incredibly tiring when it ends with a long commute. The fact that workers in trades, services, and professions, cannot live near where they work means that their families lose time and energy. This is directly because of policies around real estate and rental housing. It’s obvious that clearing a whole zone for luxury priced housing is not sustainable.
At the same time, landlords have seized on pet ownership as a particular risk to their investments, making it hard for folks who seek pet companionship or animal support to find housing. The two stories that make up this episode illustrate how inappropriate housing policies can lead to deeper feelings of alienation and exhaustion. Creativity and solidarity may help as we work on fixing the rules of housing.
This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program. Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support, Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary, VIVO Media Arts Centre for equipment and hosting the project, and BC Arts Council for financial support.
To learn more about the project, check out the SoundCloud profile for more links. Stay tuned after for some extra context from VTU Steering Committee member, Sydney Ball
Episode Credits: “In the Doghouse” produced by Victoria Spooner, featuring the song 'Rover' by Necking. “My Night Shift After Work: Looking For A Place to Live in Vancouver” produced by Yijia Zhang. Episode produced by Helena Krobath. Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball. Thanks to VIVO Media Arts Centre, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Tenants Union organizers, and tenants who shared their stories
Pets OK BC http://petsok.ca/
BC’s Rental Housing Task Force (RHTF) report https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/121/2018/12/RHTF-Recommendations-and-WWH-Report_Dec2018_FINAL.pdf
Vancouver Tenants Union’s RHTF analysis https://www.vancouvertenantsunion.ca/rhtf_analysis