Tonight Micro-Housing Power Point Presentation…

I am a visitor in Lkwungen WSANEC Territories.

I know I often speak of realities most of us would rather not have to even think about yet, here we are, peaceful warriors uniting across difference to bring relief from so much unnecessary pain and visioning thru action our possible futures.

Tonight we present Micro-Housing Communities to our homeless family and welcome allies..

I want to thank our CTEHV, VIPIRG, SOLID and especially Bobby Arbess

bobbyA

for his time in creating this power point presentation we get to enjoy tonight at:

Downtown Community Ctr-755 Pandora 6pm, see call out below.

Here is the announcement we’ve been putting out there on streets as well as faith and other ally communities.

Street Community Action Dinner

Open to everyone who~ Is homeless; Uses places that serve Victoria’s street community; Is housed, wants to bare witness at this meeting and be an ally to a possible Solidarity Village

Topic: Micro-Housing Community

Bobby Arbess of the CTEHV:

“Put a bunch of tiny, tasteful, low-cost homes into an autonomous tent village-like setting, for the homeless, governed by its members with the support of their allies and you get micro-housing communities for our homeless. Can we do this here?”

Homeless and our allies are invited to join a working group to make a “Micro-Housing Village ” Pilot Project for the Homeless happen in Victoria.  Nothing About Us Without Us.

Kym Hothead from CTEHV will give updates from CTEHV’s working group on developing a Diverse Social Housing Proposal including Tent City plans.

Hot Meal Provided. If you are housed and able, bring a dish to share potluck style.

6pm Thursday March 26th

Downtown Community Ctr-755 Pandora

Hosted By:

Committee To End Homelessness Victoria, SOLID, Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group

_____________________________________________________________

Here too is Bobby’s written piece that I and Stefanie from VIPIRG read out at City Hall’s Town Hall on Budget and Strategic Plan.:

I am a visitor in Lkwungen Territory.
Proposal for a Provisional City Fund

for a Micro-housing Community for the Homeless,  Pilot Project for the City of Victoria

Presented by: The Committee to End Homelessness, Victoria.

Background:

The Committee to End Homelessness recognizes that diverse approaches are needed to provide housing to the diverse community of people who, for many different reasons and life circumstances, find themselves homeless in the City of Victoria.  The growing gap between the rising cost of housing and people’s access to financial resources is a problem for a growing percentage of the Victoria population, with Victoria being amongst the most expensive cities in which to live.  Our most vulnerable citizens, those struggling with addictions and mental health issues, those living with physical and mental challenges, young people unable to access employment, seniors, urban First Nations and single parent families are amongst the most heavily affected by poverty and the lack of affordable housing.

As municipalities continue to experience the crunch from decades of funding cuts from provincial and federal governments who have been slowly dismantling the welfare state in favor of policies that provide ‘corporate welfare’, rather than helping the poor and the growing ranks of the marginalized, municipalities must make wiser choices of how to utilize dwindling public resources.  It is clearly cheaper and more ethically appropriate for society to house the homeless than police them on the streets. It is estimated that 75% of the Victoria annual $35 million police budget is spent in managing the segment of Victoria’s homeless population that is suffering from mental health and addiction issues. Homelessness only exacerbates these problems and it is time for our City Council to invest in adequate housing and harm reductions supports and services that will allow people to recover and rebuild their lives. Policing alone cannot achieve these goals and it a waste of public resources to continue funding growing police budgets at the expense of affordable housing and harm reduction.

Micro-housing Villages for the Homeless:

The Committee to End Homelessness is interested in exploring the viability of micro-housing village communities for the homeless, a low-cost, grassroots community solution to building semi-self-managed affordable housing that is emerging in the U.S where lack of welfare state supports for the poor, has led to more effective grassroots community organizing, resourcefulness and creativity in housing the homeless.

Micro-housing villages for the homeless are an interesting hybrid of the tent city movement of democratically-operated encampments of homeless people that go back to the Depression era AND a new trend in sustainable housing design favoring tiny houses, that allow people to live more materially simple lives, with less “stuff”‘ and with less of an ecological footprint on the planet.

Micro-housing is a low-cost solution to homelessness with the average unit for a single person at about 1/13th the building costs of a conventional low-income apartment unit. These tiny dwellings often assembled from modular prefab panels can be built with a team of volunteers, housed and unhoused, working together, in 4 hours, per unit. A hundred square foot space,  has enough room to fit a loft bed, desk, closet, counter space, shelving, storage, small couch and could have lots of windows, a small porch, for $3500 before heating an electrical and lend themselves nicely to solar power installation.  Low impact, affordable housing design is provided within a supportive village environment, managed by its residents with the helpful oversight of the partner non-profit organization, to provide both transitional and permanent housing.

To ensure the safety of its residents and a healthy, supportive village environment, residents commit themselves to a non-violence code of conduct and strong community agreements against the use of drugs and alcohol, theft and actions that harm themselves or one another. Residents carry out weekly volunteer duties to maintain a clean and healthy environment. There is a communal kitchen, shared bathroom facilities, meeting and recreational spaces and self-help programs including nutritional counseling, skills training and income-generating initiatives that empower residents to rebuild their lives.

There are now ten communities across the Pacific Northwest that have some form of successfully operating micro-housing communities for the homeless. One shining example is OpportUNITY Village in Eugene Oregon, where thirty tiny, tastefully-designed approximately 100 sq, ft. houses were built on city-leased property, in the tradition of a village barn-raiser, with the housed and the unhoused members of the community, working together. 

Members of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria are inspired by the wisdom, creativity and pragmatism of the tiny home village model. . We envision a local pilot project: Solidarity Village, to be built with the support of both public and private funding, providing transitional -semi-permanent supported housing for homeless residents in Victoria, B.C.

If there is sufficient support from our local City council, it is possible that a non-profit society dedicated to developing micro-housing villages for the homeless could start-up in Victoria, mentored at first by an existing housing provider and then generating capacity to manage these projects with the co-operation of its members, housed and unhoused working together,  to provide supportive housing solutions to those who are ready and who would choose this option for themselves. It cannot be overstated the extent to which a safe, warm, dry home of one’s own, in a caring, supportive community—to someone who has had neither– can be a big leg-up in a person’s life.

We are excited that our local community with the lively interest of our Mayor and many council members, is entering a conversation about tiny house villages as one in a diverse number approaches to addressing homelessness in our community. 

AS you know, on May 11th and 12th, the Committee to End Homelessness and the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group will be hosting two speakers, Andrew Lakeman, a world-renowned community design architect and organizer in the Portland Tent city-come- micro-housing community, Dignity Village and Andrew Heben, founder of OpportUnity Village, two pioneers of this progressive and exciting movement. 

From this conversation with them, we are hoping to move in the direction of the development of Canada’s first micro-housing village for the homeless. 

Members of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria take the position that micro-housing may be an extremely wise investment of the City of Victoria into perhaps the most cost-effective social housing investment around. Therefore, we are requesting that the City of Victoria set aside a provisional start-up fund of $500, 000 for a micro-housing village pilot project on a piece of designated city property, in the City of Victoria.  We consider this a worthy investment, from the City’s 4.5 million surplus, into the lives of some of the most marginalized members of our community. 

Thank you

Bobby Arbess

Committee to End Homelessness Victoria

IMG_4642

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Proposal: Provisional City Fund for a Micro-housing Community for the Homeless

Proposal for a Provisional City Fund for a Micro-housing Community for the Homeless,

Pilot Project for the City of Victoria

Presented by: The Committee to End Homelessness,  Victoria.

Background:

The Commmittee to End Homelessness recognizes that diverse approaches are needed to provide housing to the diverse community of people who, for many different reasons and life circumstances, find themselves homeless in the City of Victoria.  The growing gap between the rising cost of housing and people’s access to financial resources is a problem for a growing percentage of the Victoria population, with Victoria being amongst the most expensive cities in which to live.  Our most vulnerable citizens, those struggling with addictions and mental health issues, those living with physical and mental challenges, young people unable to access employment, seniors, urban First Nations and single parent families are amongst the most heavily affected by poverty and the lack of affordable housing.

As municipalities continue to experience the crunch from decades of funding cuts from provincial and federal governments who have been slowly dismantling the welfare state in favor of policies that provide ‘corporate welfare’, rather than helping the poor and the growing ranks of the marginalized, municipalities must make wiser choices of how to utilize dwindling public resources.  It is clearly cheaper and more ethically appropriate for society to house the homeless than police them on the streets. It is estimated that 75% of the Victoria annual $35 million police budget is spent in managing the segment of Victoria’s homeless population that is suffering from mental health and addiction issues. Homelessness only exacerbates these problems and it is time for our City Council to invest in adequate housing and harm reductions supports and services that will allow people to recover and rebuild their lives. Policing alone cannot achieve these goals and it a waste of public resources to continue funding growing police budgets at the expense of affordable housing and harm reduction.

Micro-housing Villages for the Homeless:

The Committee to End Homelessness is interested in exploring the viability of micro-housing village communities for the homeless, a low-cost, grassroots community solution to building semi-self-managed affordable housing that is emerging in the U.S where lack of welfare state supports for the poor, has led to more effective grassroots community organizing, resourcefulness and creativity in housing the homeless.

Micro-housing villages for the homeless are an interesting hybrid of the tent city movement of democratically-operated encampments of homeless people that go back to the Depression era AND a new trend in sustainable housing design favoring tiny houses, that allow people to live more materially simple lives, with less “stuff”‘ and with less of an ecological footprint on the planet.

micorhousing

Micro-housing is a low-cost solution to homelessness with the average unit for a single person at about 1/13th the building costs of a conventional low-income apartment unit. These tiny dwellings often assembled from modular prefab panels can be built with a team of volunteers, housed and unhoused, working together, in 4 hours, per unit. A hundred square foot space,  has enough room to fit a loft bed, desk, closet, counter space, shelving, storage, small couch and could have lots of windows, a small porch, for $3500 before heating an electrical and lend themselves nicely to solar power installation.  Low impact, affordable housing design is provided within a supportive village environment, managed by its residents with the helpful oversight of the partner non-profit organization, to provide both transitional and permanent housing.

To ensure the safety of its residents and a healthy, supportive village environment, residents commit themselves to a non-violence code of conduct and strong community agreements against the use of drugs and alcohol, theft and actions that harm themselves or one another. Residents carry out weekly volunteer duties to maintain a clean and healthy environment. There is a communal kitchen, shared bathroom facilities, meeting and recreational spaces and self-help programs including nutritional counseling, skills training and income-generating initiatives that empower residents to rebuild their lives.

There are now ten communities across the Pacific Northwest that have some form of successfully operating micro-housing communities for the homeless. One shining example is OpportUNITY Village in Eugene Oregon, where thirty tiny, tastefully-designed approximately 100 sq, ft. houses were built on city-leased property, in the tradition of a village barn-raiser, with the housed and the unhoused members of the community,  working together.

Members of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria are inspired by the wisdom, creativity and pragmatism of the tiny home village model. . We envision a local pilot project: Solidarity Village, to be built with the support of both public and private funding, providing transitional -semi-permanent supported housing for homeless residents in Victoria, B.C.

If there is sufficient support from our local City council, it is possible that a non-profit society dedicated to developing micro-housing villages for the homeless could start-up in Victoria, mentored at first by an existing housing provider and then generating capacity to manage these projects with the co-operation of its members, housed and unhoused working together,  to provide supportive housing solutions to those who are ready and who would choose this option for themselves. It cannot be overstated the extent to which a safe, warm, dry home of one’s own, in a caring, supportive community—to someone who has had neither– can be a big leg-up in a person’s life.

We are excited that our local community with the lively interest of our Mayor and many council members, is entering a conversation about tiny house villages as one in a diverse number approaches to addressing homelessness in our community.

As you may know, on May 11th and 12th, the Committee to End Homelessness and the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group will be hosting two speakers, Andrew Lakeman, a world-renowned community design architect and organizer in the Portland Tent city-come- micro-housing community, Dignity Village and Andrew Heben, founder of OpportUnity Village, two pioneers of this progressive and exciting movement.

From this conversation with them, we are hoping to move in the direction of the development of Canada’s first micro-housing village for the homeless.

Members of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria take the position that micro-housing may be an extremely wise investment of the City of Victoria into perhaps the most cost-effective social housing investment around. Therefore, we are requesting that the City of Victoria set aside a provisional start-up fund of $500, 000 for a micro-housing village pilot project on a piece of designated city property, in the City of Victoria.  We consider this a worthy investment, from the City’s 4.5 million surplus,  into the lives of some of the most marginalized members of our community.

Thank you

Bobby Arbess

Committee to End Homelessness Victoria

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Leafletting for Social Housing NOW Today.

Please join us today, Monday March 23rd at Centennial Square at noon for one hour!

IMG_0844

STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR HOUSING JUSTICE!

The Housing Crisis In BC Affects Well Over 100,000 people!

antipovertytues_clownsgroup

Affordable, good, secure housing is a basic need for all people. Each of us needs housing to live a healthy life, to enjoy our friends and families, and to contribute to our communities.

As all of the land in BC has been stolen from Indigenous nations, mostly without treaties or agreements, supporting housing justice means supporting Indigenous sovereignty.  As the housing crisis is formed through structures of power like colonialism, white supremacy, sexism and heterosexism, and capitalism, supporting housing justice also means struggling against oppression and injustice in all arena’s of life.

HOUSING IS A RIGHT.

(exerts taken from Social Housing Alliance leaflet: socialhousingbc.com

The Committee To End Homelessness Victoria supports Social Housing be built at 30% of Income.  Until we get a National Housing Strategy which INCLUDES social housing at 30% of Income, lets support Micro Housing Communities and Mini Tent City’s!

IMG_1711 IMG_1705 IMG_1703 IMG_1686 IMG_1688 IMG_1687

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“Labour have said they don’t want my vote. So where am I supposed to go now?”

Labour have said they don’t want my vote. So where am I supposed to go now?

Labour have swallowed the Conservatives’ rhetoric about “us and them”. But I’m one of “them”, so where does that leave me?

 

Rachel Reeves has come under fire due to remarks she made in an interview with the Guardian. (Photo: Getty)

Let me tell you a magical tale about how I used to be Us and became one of Them.

Once, I worked full-time. I was finally escaping a cycle of short-term, minimum wage internships. I held hopes of permanent work, that held hopes of more than the minimum wage, that held hopes of a career. But my health crumbled and I had to leave work and now I receive Employment and Support Allowance so I can buy beans and bus tickets.

I am also a former Labour party member. I joined enthusiastically when the coalition tripled tuition fees because I was idealistic and it was £1. But after four years of watching Labour scrabble about like so many clucking hens, continually failing the frankly simple task of opposing the coalition, and the tightened budget of my new circumstances, I left the Labour party.

Which is lucky, because after Rachel Reeves’ interview with the Guardian, it appears I broke up with them before they could break up with me:

“We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work.” Well, it’s cheering to hear that Labour are so doing so well that they feel able to turn my vote away. That is confidence indeed.

What Rachel Reeves fails to understand is that there is no difference between working people and not-working people. We aren’t some grotesque, Orc-like other, bred by Morgoth to take your wages from you.

There is no them and us. They are us. We are they. Working people have just managed to avoid the very bad day, or set of bad days, that took someone out of work.

It boggles the mind that Labour are still buying into this false dichotomy that there are “hard-working families” and everyone else. They continue to be led by the coalition’s rhetoric of austerity that places economic blame on anyone other than those responsible. Legitimate benefit claimants are lumped in with cheats because collectively they have a bigger door at which to lay the blame. Reeves and Labour as a whole do nothing to disrupt this message. “I would never use language like scroungers, shirkers,” says Reeves, using language like scroungers, shirkers.

Why wouldn’t you be proud to champion the welfare state? It is an invaluable safety net for people who are victims of circumstance, not moral failure, not wrathful judgement. Just a terrible immune system in my case. In her attempt to appease conservative voters, Reeves ham-fistedly lumps benefit cheats, legitimate claimants and the out-of-work into one amorphous, amoral mess. She conveniently forgets that far more of the DWP’s bill goes on paying benefits to working people than to jobseekers or those on incapacity benefits. You cannot draw a line and have workers on one side, benefit claimants on the other. She makes admirable points about reducing reliance on food banks, removing rewards and targets for benefit sanctions, but it is dishearteningly uncontroversial, refusing to disrupt the narrative of us and them.

I understand why it’s comforting to keep us separate. It’s not that claiming benefits is bad. The situation that necessitates claiming benefits is bad. I did everything I was meant to do to be self-sufficient. I went to university, I earned less money than my work deserved in the hope of the next, better job. And still, I am here, receiving little brown envelopes from the DWP that even with a university education, I still don’t always understand. You can get ill. You can be made redundant. You are working today. You may not be working tomorrow.

I don’t know who to vote for. I know I don’t want another five years of this, not only policy-wise, but of a culture that makes me feel the need to apologise for claiming money so I can eat. It would be a lot easier to give my vote to Labour if they hadn’t so forthrightly said they didn’t want me.

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CTEHV and Micro-Housing@TownHall Budget

Plan to participate in the City of Victoria Town Hall

on the budget and strategic plan March 23 at 7 p.m.

CTEHV will be presenting on Micro-Housing Communities!

The Town Hall will be interactive and webcast live. This meeting enables residents to attend and provide feedback in person at City Hall, on the website, social media, telephone either prior to the event or, in “real time” during the event.

Closer to the Town Hall City of Victoria will be providing an email form, phone number, Twitter hashtag and Facebook submission form for comments and questions. If you submit a question but can’t attend the event in person, you can watch the webcast to listen for the answer.

After the public consultation period, Council will consider the feedback and make changes to the Draft Financial Plan before giving final approval before May 15th 2015.

Go to hashtag on twitter for budget now: #yyjbudget

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Community Action Dinner, March 26th, 2015

Topic: Micro-Housing Communities

Open to everyone who – 

~Is homeless.

~Uses places that serve Victoria’s street community.

~Is housed, wants to bare witness at this meeting and be an ally to a possible      Solidarity Village.

Topic: Micro-Housing Community

Bobby Arbess of the CTEHV:

“Put a bunch of tiny, tasteful, low-cost homes into an autonomous tent village-like setting, for the homeless, governed by its members with the support of their allies and you get micro-housing communities for our homeless. Can we do this here?”

Homeless and allies are invited to join a working group to make a Micro-Housing Village Pilot Project for the Homeless happen in Victoria.

Nothing About Us Without Us.

Kym Hothead from CTEHV will give updates from CTEHV’s working group on the Diverse Social Housing Proposal.

Hot Meal Provided.  (If your housed and able: bring a dish to share.)

6pm ThursdayMarch 26th

Downtown Community Centre,  755 Pandora St.

Hosted By:

Committee To End Homelessness Victoria, SOLID, Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group.

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Brian Lindstrom and “Alien Boy” coming to Viktoria!

From Bruce Saunders:

Brian Lindstrom coming from Portland April 20-21 to screen a film at my Movie Monday series about a young man being clobbered by police in Oregon and its aftermath.


I’m very pleased that the VicPD Chief Elsner has taken an interest and committed to come to present at the screening too.
Alien Boy <http://www.alienboy.org/>

Thing is this guy makes incredibly powerful films. He did Finding Normal, 78 min long (2007).  See the long trailer athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuxA_mNgkY0  It’s about ex-addicts mentoring new folks through their challenges, seeking sobriety and getting back on track. The program claims remarkably positive outcomes with people who haven’t succeeded in other conventional programs.   article:http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/2007/01/finding_normal.html

His latest, just launched, is Mothering Inside (2015), is a beautifully shot and really moving half hour about mums staying connected with their kids while incarcerated.  Really takes you into this situation and very empathetic to their experience and the inmates’ humanity. This unique program is currently threatened but the film demonstrates the value. It can be previewed on line with the filmmaker’s permission.

This TedX talk is a sample of his presentation skills and commitment to his work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1Kve6i3PAM                    

He’s quite the catch [I met with him while I was in Portland this Fall] and I’d really like to maximize the impact of his visit, and he’s willing to share his films and time while he’s here. Any support to top up my (MM’s) organization’s commitment to his visit would be welcome.
A long article covers all of these films and morehttp://therumpus.net/2013/08/the-rumpus-interview-with-brian-lindstrom/

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