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Jim Green's Legacy to Social Housing


Jim Green (right) takes former UBC planning professor David Hulchanski on a tour of Four Sisters Co-op in 1989, one of Green's first affordable housing projects with the Downtown Eastside Residents Association. Photo: UBC Archives

In his decades-long trajectory from Downtown Eastside organizer to city politician, the late Vancouver Coun. Jim Green (1943-2012) is today credited with creating nearly 1,000 units of affordable and social housing in the city, in the midst of a growing housing crisis. 

Through the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), he and other advocates made the leap from street activism to apartment-building, and from co-ops and entirely below-market rental to controversial mixed-income partnerships with developers. 

Over this series, the Tyee Solutions Society explores that legacy from the perspective of residents in the various models of housing he helped develop -- Four Sisters Co-op, Solheim Place and Woodward's Redevelopment -- through stories, photographs and film.

On Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., City Coun. Geoff Meggs hosts a memorial retrospective event on Jim Green’s work, and panel discussion on Vancouver’s housing future, at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St. Read more about the event here.

In This Series


Four Sister Co-op, Connor and Deirdre Keohane

At Four Sisters Co-op, an Affordable Housing Dream Realized

But can the late Jim Green's project survive rising rents? First in a new series.

By David P. Ball, 23 Feb 2015


Solheim Place resident

'At My Age, All I Expect Is a Place to Live'

In Solheim Place, late councillor Jim Green helped create a Vancouver rarity. Second in a series.

By David P. Ball, 24 Feb 2015


Dan Grosso in his Woodward's room

Inside Woodward's, a Still-Contentious Social Housing Experiment

The late Jim Green's legacy project in Vancouver continues to generate buzz. Last in a series.

By David P. Ball, 25 Feb 2015


Woodwards rooftop birdhouse

Event: Social Housing Experts Look from Legacy to Future

Expect feisty debate at this Vancouver event honouring late councillor Jim Green.

By David P. Ball, 26 Feb 2015