Thursday, January 08, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


This morning I was provided information that outspoken activist for the homeless, Mr David Eby, who was recently appointed to Mayor Gregor Robertson's Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT) has put his Strathcona home up for rental.

The information I received also alleged that Mr Eby was attempting to flip the property for a nice tidy profit. The statement also inferred Mr Eby was a hypocrite.

I called Mr Eby. Normally I would have just written and posted the story on my blog as it is an interesting one. Although I do have my own reservations about Mr Eby, especially his participation and involvement in the endless Downtown Eastside gravy train, although perhaps he is just a really nice guy. Out of respect for PIVOT, the recent employer of Mr Eby, I instead called him to verify the information.

Mr Eby's tone of voice was friendly yet steely and guarded. I informed him that he could refuse to answer my questions and he could have easily refused but he didn't.

David confirmed that he is in fact listing the house for rental.

I asked David Eby why he wasn't renting to say 4 or 5 low-income residents of the area. Mr Eby replied that due to low shelter rates he wouldn't be able to meet his carrying costs which were according to him, $2,400.00 a month.

Mr Eby claims he has lived in his Strathcona home for a couple of years but when I pressed if he bought the house then, he refused to answer the question other than to repeat that he has lived in the house for two years.

I think lower income people if given the opportunity would gladly pay $400 - $450 a month in rental to live in a nice pretty house with heat. The house even has three bathrooms.

Especially given a tight rental market in what is turning out to be an unaffordable city, people on welfare, pensions or disability, paying $450.00 would still leave them money to live on. And if Mr Eby rented to say five people on low income he would still meet most of his carrying costs.

Since I'm not a real estate person if anyone out there is please respond to me privately or on this blog whether these carrying costs seem legitimate. Here is a link to Mr Eby's House and the advertisement for rental. The ad shows pictures and describes the house. See

Rumour also is being circulated that Mr Eby has had the house up for sale at $650,000.00.

Mr Eby denies that he is trying to sell it but in the advertising on Craigslist there is clearly a for sale sign on the property.

For such a small modest two bedroom house with no back yard or front yard or alleyway for that matter and with a hefty price tag of $650,000.00 I'm wondering what comes first for Mr Eby - Principles or Profit?

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 9:38 PM, Anonymous urb anwriter said...

...profit?... given that much of what the poverty industry does, in my considered opinion, is to colonize, infantalize, and objectify the poor why would Mr. Eby consider housing the poor? He has already made his money by representing them.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Hotsey Totsey said...

Jamie, next up: find out where's he moving to! I bet there's a great story there, too.

What a hypocrite.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Mr Eby has relocated to Gastown but you can be assured its not in an SRO or rental accommodation since there are basically no rentals in Gastown.

Sources are claiming that Mr Eby wants Jenny Kwan's seat so he is staying within the Vancouver- Mt Pleasant boundaries.

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Urb Anwriter said...

if Eby runs in the riding I'll vote anything but NDP. I've seen my standard of living reduced by some of Pivot's clamouring for 'the underclass,' while never demanding that the 'underclass' exhibit any level of responsibility for their actions, or the effects of their actions on others. Mr. Eby, amongst others, is prepared to sell out the poor, many of whom are poor for reasons not of their own making, for the headlines that come with getting the drunk and drug-addled permitted to Carnegie - which while it certainly has its faults - was just about the only place in the community that you could get away from Mr. Eby's poor and unwashed.

If Mr. Eby's move involved 'him' buying a piece of property, rather than a 'company' which exists only for his legal benefits, I should think the transaction will show up on BC On-line. Hmmmm

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Hi Urb

Just to be clear many sources claim that David Eby used Pivot and hence the poor for his own political benefit.

Pivot has some great lawyers like Katrina Pacey, Karen Mirsky and have produced a couple of outstanding so I won't tarnish them due to David Eby's opportunism although it is important to keep an eye on things and keep them accountab;le to the community.


At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is unfair. It isn't any of your business where Eby lives or how much he pays for mortgage or rent. If you have questions about his engagement with politics, ok, but this is personal and therefore off limits.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

David Eby has inserted himself into public life. He has made a name for himself on homelessness and he often complained to the media that real estate speculation was creating displacement of SRO tenantsa.

Now it turns out Mr Eby could be in the real estate speculation business himself so this information is fair game.

Jamie Lee

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous SV said...

Just curious-What was the significant difference between what Mr. Eby did for Pivot and what the above mentioned lawyers did?
And isn't anyone who bought and sold/or tried to sell a house involved in real estate speculation? Do we know if Mr. Eby is the sole owner of the house?

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...


One of the major differences between the Pivot lawyers I mentioned and Mr Eby is the charter challenge that Pivot lawyers Ms Pacey and Ms Mirsky are doing in regard to safety for sex trade workers.This challenge has the potential to making a real difference in women's lives. Whereas on the other hand Mr Eby's appointment to Mayor Robertson's homeless emergency action team (HEAT) doesn't adequately address homelessness in any real way.

In terms of whether Mr Eby is the sole owner of his house I'm not certain. I guess the tax assessment rolls would confirm this if one chooses to look.

Yes I agree that anyone who owns property and may be trying to flip the property is in the real estate speculation market. Again this is what Mr Eby loudly and continually complained about so it seems odd that he would be in the speculation market himself. Others have said Mr Eby is being a hypocrite.

Update - Mr Eby is now marketing his house on an online ad with the by-line of 'Come live in TRENDY Strathcona'.


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