City hotel policies could increase homelessness by 1000s

2007.12.10 - 3:50 PM

Carnegie Action Project update:

City hotel policies could increase homelessness by 1000s

The City of Vancouver’s Single Room Accommodation (SRA) bylaw is not protecting residential hotel rooms for low income people. It also appears to be getting ready to gut or end the bylaw entirely, thus forcing single people on welfare to find nonexistent housing in other parts of the city for $375 a month.

“We complained about the Columbia Hotel on September, 5th,” said Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP). It was refusing to rent to new renters by the month and charging $200 a week instead.” Under the SRA bylaw, which was designed to maintain housing for the city’s low income people, the hotel is only allowed to rent 10 per cent of its rooms by the day and week. CCAP complained to the city and later sent the city photos of the Columbia’s sign which only mentions renting by the day or week, and a link to the Columbia’s website which offers accommodation for backpackers. “Now it’s December and the Hotel’s website (http://www.columbiahotel.ca/) is still seeking backpackers,” said Pedersen. “Meanwhile, low income residents of the area can’t afford $800 per month to stay in the Columbia and its 73 rooms are lost to the low income community.”

CCAP is also appalled that the city is actually considering ending the SRA bylaw. Page 11 of the report to city council on City/Province Social and Supportive Housing Partnership December 12, 2007(http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20071212/documents/sc1.pdf), suggests that the SRA bylaw could become history as soon as 2008.

“City officials told us that the SRA bylaw would protect low rent rooms,” said Pedersen. “But it isn’t protecting the rooms and now the city is using the possibility of getting 1200 more units from the province as an excuse to allow hotel owners to demolish or convert.”

“We still have over 2000 homeless people in this city,” said Pedersen. “We know of 561 units that have closed this year and only 30 have been opened. For next year and 2009 together, we might get 373 new units. After that, we expect more, but not enough to even house everyone who is homeless now, let alone house people the city allows to be evicted from hotels.”

“We need a moratorium on SRO closures,” said Pedersen “and to prevent evictions, the Province should change tenancy laws by controlling rent increases on the unit not on the person.”

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Contact: Wendy Pedersen: 604 839-0379

Jean Swanson: 604 729-2380

CCAP challenges Mayor Sullivan and City staff on their accounting of new housing to be built by 2010. For CCAP’s list of the Real Number of new housing units for low income people, email Jean at jean.swanson@gmail.com

Comments

ancientclown on 2007.12.12

NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING makes me laugh more, than when I read these politicians/leaders announce all these future plans, years from NOW, that they are going to do, while they continue to break past promises of what they said they'd be doing NOW. For NOW is all you have.

The Tortoise & The Hair: (abridged-for those in the FAST lane)

The tortoise, considered ancient by some, taking life one day at a time, living in the now, was rapidly approached by a relatively young hare one day. The hare challenged the tortoise to a race by saying; 'In a minute I'll be miles ahead of you'. To which the tortoise laughed and replied; 'Fine...But in a moment I'll be crossing the finish line instead of you.'
--- Moral of the story: "Live in the 'NOW'...It's not a 'human race', it's a 'hue-one' journey."(you've been mis-pronouncing it)

 They that have an Ear, Let them Hear...They that are Wise, Let them Listen."Tree of Life": They that have an Ear, Let them Hear...They that are Wise, Let them Listen.

your humble servant,
ancient clown

iambanned on 2014.02.16

Wow, that is a very bad statistic. We should be doing a lot of things that will prevent this from occurring. - Weather Shield Windows

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