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Little Mountain hold-outs avoid eviction

A last-minute deal between the provincial government and the city of Vancouver means that the last remaining residents of the Little Mountain housing project will be allowed to stay.

The province and city, along with the developer Holborn Properties, signed an agreement to allow up to 50 social housing units to be built ahead of the completion of the site's rezoning process.

The four remaining tenants had received eviction notices in July ordering them to vacate their homes by Sept. 30 to allow for final demolition and site clean-up. Other homes on the site were demolished in 2009. The hold-outs were headed to an appeal of their eviction on Monday.

"There's so many people who were saying that that wasn't possible," Ingrid Steenhuisen, one of the remaining tenants, told the Georgia Straight. "There's always so many naysayers, and I was just trying to remain as positive as possible, for my mum and I, but also for the other families here, and so I'm happy."

Holborn Properties bought the land from the province in 2008 for a rumoured $300-million. According to a BC Housing press release, the province is investing all of the net proceeds of the sale of the site into social housing in the province, including more than 1,500 new housing units at 14 city-owned sites in Vancouver. The 224 social-housing units that were on the Little Mountain site are to be replaced with 234 units.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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