Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


It has been brought to my attention that after a recent internal staff shuffling at the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA) there appears to be some hanky panky going on at one of the DERA operated buildings.

A longtime staff member of DERA is alleging after obtaining access to several key internal BC Housing documents that two prominent APC members who are DERA staff members are in rental arrears, one is not listed as a tenant in the unit he is living and that another one has not listed his spouse on the tenancy.

Kim Kerr, the Executive Director of DERA who a year ago threatened two former City Councillors, must answer to whether these serious allegations are true.

The first allegation involves DERA staff member and APC leader, Aaron Muirhead who it is being alleged is not listed as a tenant in the suite he shares with his partner and child in Solheim place. Further to the allegation is that the partner of Mr Muirhead is paying less than $200.00 for the two bedroom unit even though Mr Muirhead, is working full-time at DERA and earning $18.00 an hour with full benefits.

The second allegation involves prominent APC member, David Cunningham and it is being alleged that he was behind in his rent in the thousands of dollars and which it is alleged that he shares an apartment with DERA Treasurer Jill Chettier and their child at Solheim place. The allegation is that Ms Chettier is not listed as a tenant with Mr Cuningham and he is paying less than $400.00 a month for the BC Housing subsidized two-bedroom suite.

Previously reported was that Ms Chettier was earning $35.00 an hour at the Naomi Project in the DTES.

It must be stated that perhaps Ms Chetter is no longer living with Mr Cunningham but according to Revenue Canada documents she is listed as Treadurer at DERA and her address is at the Solheim building as is Mr. Cunningham.

It is believed that DERA is under investigation by BC Housing regarding other operational related issues and with these new allegations surfacing, perhaps the Minister of Housing Rich Coleman should investigate so that public confidence can be restored especially if these allegations prove to be true.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 9:57 PM, Anonymous urb anwriter said...

Damn keyboard! I had this all written, then zapped it!

Glad to see Kim Kerr on the hot seat. I recall Larry Campbell asking (in public) Kim about someone queue-jumping while Kim was making loud noise about housing when Adrienne Clarkson (as G.G.) and her consort were walking around the DES. That one I heard, I was in the party.

Unfortunately it seems, and this is not news, that DERA's heyday was a long, long time ago.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Hi Urb anWriter,

Yes unfortunately this is too too common in the Downtown Eastside.

The DERA Annual General Meeting is tonight April 17.

A good question someone should ask is which area of DERA's funding is the hefty legal fees for its lawyer, Mr Jason Gratl coming from?

I think BC Housing needs to take the buildings out from under DERA's control especially with this latest bit of what appears to be fraudulent activity.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is regretful that we as a society has forgot what social housing is . we need a public enquiry to ensure that systems are in place to ensure proper management of all housing providers


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