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RV dwellers in East Vancouver fear 'crackdown' from city

Last Updated May 30, 2021 at 6:04 pm PDT

RV parked along Slocan Street in East Vancouver. (Courtesy: Twitter/@dsmythe95)
Summary

The City of Vancouver is pressing to move more people into permanent housing

Red Braid Alliance spokesperson Listen Chen has been told by-law officers are set to return on Wednesday

'There's simply nowhere else for them to go,' Chen says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A group advocating for people living in their RVs in East Vancouver suggests the City of Vancouver is preparing a crackdown in the coming days.

The Red Braid Alliance has been out this past week in support of the dozen-or-so people who are still making their homes in RVs along Slocan Street.

While they’ve been housed there for a couple of years, the city is pressing to move more people into permanent housing.

Red Braid Alliance spokesperson Listen Chen says they’ve been told by-law officers are set to return on Wednesday to move the group out — something she says has previously been a fruitless endeavor.

“They go through this dance with bylaw officers, where they’re given a warning ticket, finally chased off, and they end up inevitably returning because there’s simply nowhere else for them to go,” Chen says.

Chen says the RV dwellers have already been handed warnings this past week to move on.

“The city’s been basically using a smear campaign against this community, claiming that they are a danger to schoolchildren and filthy, which are classic tactics that governments use when they want to socially cleanse public spaces,” she says.

Chen says those still in the RVs have been told that moving to a different location won’t be a solution either, as by-law officers plan to crackdown on RV living across the entire city.

“[We asked] by-law officers if they can park in other areas where RVs can and do park, and the city said they’re going to be ticketing all of those areas; effectively telling people that they have to disappear,” Chen says.

The City of Vancouver says in a statement its “Homelessness Services Outreach team remains committed to working with those living in their parked RVs on Slocan, who require assistance, by connecting these individuals to housing, income or other supports.”

However, the city also says their parking staff with continue to pursue enforcement where appropriate.

“On Thursday, 12 vehicles left the Slocan site following the advanced communication and multiple visits over the past several months by parking staff as part of an extended enforcement timeline,” the city’s statement says.