Forget Vancouver’s most expensive bachelor pad.
The Hip-O at 406 Union street was set to offer Vancouver its first upscale SRO.
The posters that appeared in Strathcona this month promised 12 “trendy” rooms, along with shared kitchen and bathroom, for between $795-$1095 per month.
The problem? The building at 406 union street has a permit from the city to operate as an SRO – with the bulk of rooms to be held for people at assistance rates – two held at the welfare rate of $375, six held for people on rental subsidy.
The remaining four were permitted to be rented at a market rate.
Vancouver’s Director of Housing Policy and Projects Abigail Bond says she doesn’t know how the campaign got launched, but the owner has backtracked.
“We’ve spoken to the owner about that, so I believe they’re in the process of updating their information that they have online, but they have working with us since we signed the agreement, they are in liaison with our Carnegie outreach team. They are cooperating. We’re not sure what happened with regards to the marketing, but they are working with us to fill those units as we intended.”
Bond says despite the marketing material that appeared to offer all of the building’s single rooms at market rates, the city’s housing outreach team has been working consistently with the owners to fill the rooms as legally mandated.
“We have eight rooms where we have an agreement with them with what the rent should be, and or who should go in them.”
“When we were made aware of the information that was on their website, we reconnected with the owner and also with our outreach team to confirm that they were actually working with the owners on filling those units. And we were able to confirm that they are.”
The posters have since come down and the “Hip-O” website which once boasted Netflix, large screen TVs, and a weekly cleaning service, now says it is undergoing maintenance.
Click to see the now-shuttered Hip-O.ca website
The buildings’s owners could not be reached for comment.