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Homeless, Downtown, and Government


Ray Cho

on 19 November 2009

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Transcript of Homeless, Downtown, and Government

Homeless, Downtown, and Government "Canada's poorest postal code"- downtown eastside Increasing population of homeless and drug addicts Threat of public security Incresing crime rate Degradation of the city's image HIV Infection through drug trade Lack of housing-homeless occupying the streets for free
12000 to 15000 people are homeless in B.C. PROBLEMS In THE HAsTIngS and DownTown So, Mayor, What are you doing to help the homeless and drug addicts?

Safe drug injection site created
Buildings are constructed to accommodate the homeless
Gentrification plan*
Affordable housing
Free food, blankets, and other necessities
over 1.4 billion dollars has been spent by the three levels of gov't on social and health problems occuring in DES, since 2001 Homeless is not about poverty; It is about lack of housing - Gentrification Government plans to spend $250 million on building new apartments and condos
With $250 million dollars, 1200 homes are expected to be built
Old buildings will be demolished and new buildings will be built
Rent fees of the new homes are expected to be low, ranging from $0-$500
Hopefully, people from outside of downtown will move into the area Those who seems to work harder than the gov't
Carnegie Center-provides free food, cultural experience and opportunities
Woman's center-aids women in need of housing
Guru nanak's Free Kitchen-provides free meals to needy and homeless
Pivot Legal Society-deals with making social changes. Some of their works involve addiction, health, housing, etc.
Many other organizations help the poor by providing necessaties, and giving them opportunities through education.
Through 175 organizations, 1million dollars are estimated to be poured onto helping the needy and the homeless Definitely a Market Failure--

Obviously, there is an overallocation of homeless and drug addicts, who cause much negative externalities to the people
For the society: Exploitation of public goods such as streets (free rider effect); Increasing crime rate and less public security harming the city's reputation (olympic game); Cleanliness;
For the businesses: Decreasing house values; Less customers; Government's Intervention-always positive?
Gentrification has both negative and positive sides
To Tax Payers: They would have to pay much more money to construct buildings in downtown (N)
Better security in the district (P)
Homeless in downtown might move to the other areas, causing more problem in the other cities (N)
Businesses could attract more customers and thrive Future-What do you think?- Well, not about our presentation, the social issue

It seems that the government is saying much without getting much done. $250 million dollars are not being spent, but are rather kept in dusty locker-bank. Also, gentrification only seems to promise short term benefits-temporary housing of homeless. Eventually, as funds run out of the cost-free buildings, same problems will occur again and again. Also, if the buildings are poorly managed, health problem will rise. So, in my opinion, the government should spend our money-taxes-more wisely, through long-term housing plans. Thank you!
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