This episode of Vancouver Housing Stories centres around the life we can build with our neighbours, if we want it. From seniors fighting to keep their collective home, to new families struggling to find space for home, the stories in this episode drive home that no model of housing can succeed without really listening to the residents themselves.
First up: Jamie Leigh Gonzales uses interviews, audio essay and poetry to create a piece about her shift in housing priorities that came after becoming a mother. In dialogue with other parents, she confronts the difficulty of finding housing to suit her growing family, as well as the urban planning that makes neighbourhoods possible -- or impossible -- for families with children.
Then we zoom over to a group of seniors at the Alice Saunders building in Vancouver’s Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood and hear how a proposed development might uproot their tight-knit community. The neighbours hosted a barbecue in the summer of 2019 to showcase the home and community they built, which was not being taken into account by BC Housing development decisions. Stay tuned after for some extra context from VTU Steering Committee member, Sydney Ball. To learn more about the project and participants, check out our SoundCloud profile for more links.
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, and VIVO Media Arts Centre/BC Arts Council for equipment and financial support. Special thanks to the tenants who shared their stories.
First Segment written and produced by Jamie Leigh Gonzales; music production by Davis Steele. Second Segment written and produced by Helena Krobath, with additional scripts by Sydney Ball; live music at the Alice Saunders tenants’ barbeque was by Dutch Robinson and band. Episode Produced by Helena Krobath. Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball.
Episode links/resources: Demoviction: Hastings-Sunrise Seniors Fighting To Stay https://www.vancouvertenantsunion.ca/alice_saunders_building