By Ella Matte, contributor
Leslie Robinson and her gang of “grannies” sang their concerns about gentrification on Pandora Avenue to Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto to get their point across.
The group appeared at Thursday night’s city council meeting to discuss a lack of services in the area, which has a large population of people who are experiencing homelessness.
They sang, “the city it is changing the housing through rearranging, gentrification is the plan. Fancy housing is constructed after tenants get evicted and treated like we’re lesser than. When we have no place to rent, human beings live in tents or move into a van. People have to live outside bylaw enforcement to abide and we need a better plan. “When snow was on the ground, warming centres could not be found, homeless people need our support and city hall is falling short. People are hungry and they’re cold and many of us are getting old and we want you to make a plan. People are suffering and dying and we have to keep on trying so let’s make ourselves a plan.”
Victoria has several developments going up that are considered “luxury housing” but many question if this is necessary with a significant homeless population.
Robinson wants the city to “find a solution to protect tenants and preserve affordable rental housing.”
Alison Acker, one of the other singing grannies, spoke on matter separately, requesting that the city selects a staff person to liaise with the “homeless population … What I don’t want to see is Victoria as a city where people are walking all night to keep warm. We can make Victoria a city of shelters so nobody has to walk the streets at night to keep warm. We have to appoint a shelter organizer who will encourage all the churches who had to close up because of COVID and haven’t been able to reopen. We have to find help for them.”