Homeless advocates on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are warning even more people will be made homeless this year, as rents at Single Room Occupancy hotels continue to rise, even though welfare rates remain unchanged.
Jean Swanson from the Carnegie Community Action Project says many residents only receive $610 a month in welfare, but one SRO hotel on Alexander Street is now charging $660 a month.
Swanson says the provincial government needs to step in.
“We need rent control based on the unit, not the tenant. We have a vacancy rate of half a per cent, rents are going through the roof and no one can afford them. We desperately need strong rent control.”
Swanson says other tenants have told her that their rents are being raised from $410 to $660 a month.