6 episodes

A podcast mini-series where each episode takes a different approach to stories about renting in Vancouver, a city where displacement has become the norm. The series features six Vancouver-based storytellers and artists using pre-recorded tenant interviews to develop their own storytelling and audio practices, while considering the topic of housing.

This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program that took place in summer 2019 in Vancouver at VIVO Media Arts Centre, on unceded and occupied territory of the səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw(Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations

The participants were Maddi Dellplain, Jamie-Leigh Gonzales, Susan Lu, Tiffany Muñoz, Victoria Spooner, Melissa Roach, and Yijia Zhang. Mentors were Helena Krobath, Kim Bince Villagante (aka Kimmortal), Alex de Boer, Madeline Taylor, Alexander Kim, Pietro Sammarco, and Kell Gerlings. Podcast narration by Helena Krobath and Sydney Ball. Production by Helena Krobath.

Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support and Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary. Thank you to VIVO Media Arts Centre for hosting the project and Pietro Sammarco for logistics and coordination. Thanks to BC Arts Council for financial support. Special thanks to the tenants who shared their stories.

Vancouver Housing Stories Vancouver Housing Stories

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

A podcast mini-series where each episode takes a different approach to stories about renting in Vancouver, a city where displacement has become the norm. The series features six Vancouver-based storytellers and artists using pre-recorded tenant interviews to develop their own storytelling and audio practices, while considering the topic of housing.

This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program that took place in summer 2019 in Vancouver at VIVO Media Arts Centre, on unceded and occupied territory of the səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw(Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations

The participants were Maddi Dellplain, Jamie-Leigh Gonzales, Susan Lu, Tiffany Muñoz, Victoria Spooner, Melissa Roach, and Yijia Zhang. Mentors were Helena Krobath, Kim Bince Villagante (aka Kimmortal), Alex de Boer, Madeline Taylor, Alexander Kim, Pietro Sammarco, and Kell Gerlings. Podcast narration by Helena Krobath and Sydney Ball. Production by Helena Krobath.

Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support and Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary. Thank you to VIVO Media Arts Centre for hosting the project and Pietro Sammarco for logistics and coordination. Thanks to BC Arts Council for financial support. Special thanks to the tenants who shared their stories.

    Episode 6 Meeting The Changing City

    Episode 6 Meeting The Changing City

    Gentrification ultimately means the displacement of the people who build a neighbourhood.

    In this episode, Susan Lu reflects on how changing property values impact the character of places she’s lived. She asks people in her neighbourhood of the West End what they think about the real estate market.

    Tiffany Muñoz then provides a history of the changing city, from the influx of cash during Expo 86 to 2010 when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. How did these events help turn Vancouver into a city that belonged to international capital instead of a home for its residents?

    To learn more about the project and participants, click our SoundCloud profile.

    Episode Credits: “Meet the Changing City” produced by Susan Lu.
    “Vancouver’s Postmodern Displacement” by Tiffany Muñoz
    Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball and Helena Krobath. Thanks to VIVO Media Arts Centre, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Tenants Union organizers, and tenants who shared their stories

    • 35 min
    Episode 5 Art Vs Art Washing

    Episode 5 Art Vs Art Washing

    Tenants are artists. What makes some forms of culture attractive to real estate and developer interests? Does the support of art by real estate make Vancouver a culturally vibrant city?

    First, we hear from Alice, an artist and tenant at The Belvedere building in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, who organized with her neighbours to fight round after round of profit motivated evictions.

    If you live or work in Mount Pleasant, you’ve probably noticed the large amount of murals going up around the neighbourhood — there’s even one on the Belvedere. Mural Fest is one of many art projects backed by developers. Helena and Sydney talk a little bit about the organization and some other protests that artists and anti-displacement activists have had against Mural Fest donor and large scale developer Westbank.

    We then play footage from a radio segment that aired on Coop Radio 100.5 FM covering the Rave Against Renovictions, where artists held a rally outside Mural Fest donor, developer and Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s house. These were in response to recent evictions of artist spaces by Wilson’s company Low Tide Properties. Helena speaks with artist and organizer Tascha Speck about the event.

    Episode Credits:
    Produced by Helena Krobath and Sydney Ball. “Rave Against Renovictions” originally aired on Vancouver Co-op Radio. Thanks to VIVO Media Arts Centre, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Tenants Union organizers, and tenants who shared their stories

    • 44 min
    Episode 4 Community and Self Determination

    Episode 4 Community and Self Determination

    This episode of Vancouver Housing Stories centres around the life we can build with our neighbours, if we want it.

    [Partial Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18qh88bexFZL3TJZ-ZSpvwPUI3AIuKEZAcDLy9o0HYQ8/edit?usp=sharing]

    Jamie Leigh Gonzales uses interviews, audio essay and poetry to create a piece about her shift in priorities that came after becoming a mother and the difficulty of finding housing to suit her growing family, as well as the urban planning considerations that make neighbourhoods possible, or impossible, for families with children.

    Then we zoom in to a group of seniors at the Alice Saunders building in Vancouver’s Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood and how a proposed development might uproot their tight-knit community. These stories drive home that no model of housing can succeed without really listening to the residents themselves.

    This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program. Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support, Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary, and VIVO Media Arts Centre/BC Arts Council for equipment and financial support. Special thanks to the tenants who shared their stories.

    To learn more about the project and participants, check out our SoundCloud profile for more links. Stay tuned after for some extra context from VTU Steering Committee member, Sydney Ball

    Segment Credits:
    First Segment written and produced by Jamie Leigh Gonzales; music production by Davis Steele. Second Segment written and produced by Helena Krobath, with additional scripts by Sydney Ball; live music at the Alice Saunders tenants’ barbeque was by Dutch Robinson and band. Episode Produced by Helena Krobath. Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball.

    Episode links/resources: Demoviction: Hastings-Sunrise Seniors Fighting To Stay https://www.vancouvertenantsunion.ca/alice_saunders_building

    • 32 min
    Episode 3 Alienation and Search for Home

    Episode 3 Alienation and Search for Home

    This episode looks into the isolation many tenants face while living in Vancouver. First up, Victoria Spooner relays the potential benefits -- and housing obstacles -- of having a pet in British Columbia. She hears from aspirational pet owners, as well as Pets OK BC organizer Elliot Galan, about what it means when tenants are unable to live with a four-legged family member.

    Afterwards, Yijia Zhang presents her soundscape composition that takes a sensory journey through the daunting task of searching for a new apartment. We recommend wearing your headphones for this one.

    This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program. Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support, Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary, and VIVO Media Arts Centre for hosting and equipment, as well as BC Arts Council for financial support.

    [Link to Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r3qesImKokBJV1dRMsw_PqkMXi9WREgnwJ9DfuCX_zY/edit?usp=sharing]

    To learn more about the project and participants, click our main SoundCloud profile. Stay tuned after for some extra context from VTU Steering Committee member, Sydney Ball.

    Episode Credits: “In the Doghouse” produced by Victoria Spooner, featuring the song 'Rover' by Necking. “My Night Shift After Work: Looking For A Place to Live in Vancouver” produced by Yijia Zhang. Episode produced by Helena Krobath. Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball.

    Episode links/resources: Pets OK BC http://petsok.ca/

    BC’s Rental Housing Task Force (RHTF) report https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/121/2018/12/RHTF-Recommendations-and-WWH-Report_Dec2018_FINAL.pdf

    Vancouver Tenants Union’s RHTF analysis https://www.vancouvertenantsunion.ca/rhtf_analysis

    • 30 min
    Episode 2 Leaving Is Not An Option

    Episode 2 Leaving Is Not An Option

    Moonhee is a low-income tenant who received subsidized rent from BC Housing in a building owned by a large non-profit. But when she finds toxic mold in her apartment, getting anyone to care about her safety becomes an impossible task. The first segment of the episode, titled “I Cannot Die in My Apartment”, is focused on Moonhee’s story and the particular difficulties of tenants living in social housing in British Columbia.

    The second segment, produced by Yijia Zhang is titled “Leaving is Not an Option.” What can a tenant do when their home is falling into disrepair but they are scared of landlord retaliation that will leave them at the whims of an inflated rental market?

    Afterwards, Sydney Ball at the Vancouver Tenants Union updates us on some tenants in social housing here in Vancouver who are fighting to get their elevator fixed after being down for more than six months. This episode underscores that poorly maintained housing is not 'good enough' for anyone, and great social housing can be for everyone!

    Transcript [in progress] at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WhuBsmKuo8QInizARcf9buBbKfSxsARMw39rERcIYro/edit?usp=sharing

    This project was part of a mentorship and skills development program. Thank you to the Vancouver Tenants Union for oral history support, Sydney Ball for supplemental scripts and commentary, and VIVO Media Arts Centre/BC Arts Council for equipment and financial support.

    To learn more about the project and participants, check out our SoundCloud profile for more links.

    Segment Credits: “I Cannot Die in My Apartment” produced by Helena Krobath with extra writing and commentary by Sydney Ball. “Leaving is not an Option” produced by Yijia Zhang. Episode Produced by Helena Krobath with extra scripts, editing, and commentary by Sydney Ball

    Thanks to VIVO Media Arts Centre, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Tenants Union organizers, and tenants who shared their stories

    Episode links/resources: “Class Struggle in Chinatown: Ethnic Tourism, Planned Gentrification, and Organizing for Tenant Power” by Nat Lowe themainlander.com/2019/07/16/class…or-tenant-power/

    “If Landlords Renovate, Must You Vacate?” by Sean Condon in The Tyee (all the way back in 2008) thetyee.ca/News/2008/09/25/Evictions/

    • 35 min
    Episode 1 Who's Got The Power

    Episode 1 Who's Got The Power

    Could changes in Vancouver’s municipal housing policy make a difference in a city of people battling skyrocketing rents and constant evictions?

    In this episode hosts Maddi Dellplain and Melissa Roach feature stories of tenants who stuck together to fight against evictions and landlord harassment in an audio documentary titled, ‘Who’s Got the Power?’ We hear from members of the Vancouver Tenants Union and follow the organization’s work to strengthen the City’s Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy (TRPP), aimed at helping to keep tenants in their homes.

    click for TRANSCRIPT: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_z6HA6tzHYhixZk6mF0n2q5CbfsuiXUmrifoidVOyK0/edit?usp=sharing

    Artists/credits:
    Main segment produced by Maddi Dellplain and Melissa Roach; Music by Nicolas Camacho-Logan
    Episode Produced by Helena Krobath
    Additional scripts and commentary by Sydney Ball
    Thanks to VIVO Media Arts Centre, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Tenants Union organizers, and tenants who shared their stories

    Further Resources:
    “Project and Mentors” https://www.vivomediaarts.com/programming/mentorship/altspacecontrol-vancouver-housing-stories

    “Vancouver City Council Expands Tenant Relocation Policy” Vancouver Tenants Union https://www.vancouvertenantsunion.ca/trpp_expansion

    "Does the TRPP Have Teeth?” Seeking Office (podcast) https://www.citr.ca/radio/seeking-office/episode/20190919/

    Maddi Dellplain is a freelance journalist who moved to Vancouver from Maui in 2011 to study International Relations and Spanish at UBC. Nowadays, Maddi writes for Megaphone Magazine, where she typically reports on the work of community members in Vancouver's downtown eastside, First Nations issues, and local art and activism. When not writing, Maddi enjoys obsessively binging political podcasts, mapping out future travel plans, and checking out live music shows.

    Melissa Roach is a mediamaker, communicator, and freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver — unceded Coast Salish territories — who is interested in social justice, urban issues, non-profits, and community-building. She holds a B.A. in English from Simon Fraser University, and completed an extended minor in linguistics. When Melissa’s not creating content, she enjoys puzzling, crafting, and thrifting up a storm.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

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1 Rating

radi0head ,

Thank you! Love it, and necessary!

Thank you for putting out this podcast, looking out for more! 5 stars. A quick note if possible for a bit more volume levelling, especially between meeting audio and commentary. Had volume all the way up and still had problems hearing. Not a complaint just a note :) go vtu!!!

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