The province needs to bring in rent controls or even more people will be made homeless in the Downtown Eastside, that’s according to housing advocates who say landlords are raising their rent beyond what tenants can pay. And we’re talking about tenants in SROs; low income housing with a single bedroom and shared bathrooms and kitchens.
The Carnegie Community Action Project’s Jean Swanson says rent in one hotel is going up from $410 dollars a month to $660.
“We do an annual hotel survey and there are hundreds of rooms we’ve lost to rents over 500 dollars a month.”
“Low income people can’t afford them, or if they do afford them it’s because they have to eat free food if they can find it.”
Swanson says prices are well beyond those only recieving $610 dollars a month welfare.
Eviction highlights problem: Watch
Meantime, amid concerns over more people becoming homeless, Jeremy Lye was there when an eviction took place today in the neighbourhood.
“She already accepted my 450 rent.”
Downtown eastside resident Aurora spoke to reporters outside her SRO complaining her landlord was raising the rent by two hundred dollars a month at the end of her lease.
That’s when she realized her fob wouldn’t let her back in.
“As you can see it’s not working.”
Aurora was one of several tenants of an Alexandra Street hotel highlighted by the the advocacy group Carnegie Outreach which is calling for the provincial government to stop landlords using fixed term leases to evict low income people.