A Vancouver community group says says the city of Vancouver is in denial about loopholes in the Single Room Accommodation bylaw.
Jean Swanson with the Project says something needs to change to protect those who need it the most.
“What we are concerned about is that it is not strong enough and is not being used to protect low income tenants from being evicted.”
Under the bylaw landlords who want to turn an SRO into condos or apartments, have to pay a $125,000 dollar fee and get approval from city council.
However Swanson says many landlords simply update the rooms and charge double without having to pay the fee since they make sure it’s technically still room accommodation.
“The SRO’s are being bought up by people who get rid of the existing low-income tenants by hook or crook, sometimes legally, sometimes illegally, sometimes they buy them off; and then they upgrade the room a little bit and raise the rent a lot.”
She says they’ve seen SRO rooms for up to $1,500 dollars.
Swanson says the city needs to act soon, before the number of people without a home continues to grow.