Info boosters

Earlier, we exclusively reported six private sector interests were sponsoring a government-run homelessness information centre. We've already told you about two of them - The Vancouver Sun and The Province. So who are the other sponsors? Well, a BC Housing spokesperson confirmed:

* Westbank Projects Corp., one of the members of the consortium that developed the Woodwards project, is providing space for the centre in that building;

* VanMar Constructors Inc. is renovating and improving the space so it can be used by the centre; and

* Terra Housing Consultants Ltd. and gBL Architects Inc. are footing the majority of the cost for producing the information material at the centre.

1 Comment

Earlier you suggested that four of the six sponsors were connected to the real estate development industry. Considering the share of revenues that the two dailies earn from the industry, I think it would be fair to say that all six are connected.

Which raises the question of why industry players are sponsoring a government PR effort that downplays the homelessness crisis? Surely they'd all stand to profit by playing up the problem instead so that governments would be persuaded to invest more in social housing?

Maybe it's because they appreciate that their industry is not about actually housing people as much as it is about providing fodder for a speculative bubble - one which perversely ends up putting more and more people out on the streets, a side effect that no one wants to confront as long as they're making making money out of playing the game.

Terra's web page says it right there: "...housing as homes and communities as well as buildings and investments."

When you put the growth of homelessness next to the killing we've all been making on our real estate values, it's not hard to see that the second objective is what it's really all about and that the two are probably not at all unconnected.

But I won't hold my breath waiting for the Canwest papers to lead a discussion of that issue with any enthusiasm on their news pages.

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