Rundown Murray Hotel passes City of Vancouver inspection
Property manager says government support needed for private owners committed to low income tenants
The Murray Hotel has passed a City of Vancouver inspection over violations which included dismantled fire alarms, graffiti in bathrooms and clutter in rooms.
But the building's property managers say more government support is needed for private owners to maintain low rents and old buildings.
"We absolutely need to be thinking about the government assisting better in these supportive housing and low income properties," said Adam Glover, a director of operations for Atira Property Management.
Hot water restored
The Murray Hotel is owned by real estate developer Kenstone Properties. But Glover notes that the building does not receive any form of operating subsidies, operating instead on the revenues it generates from tenants.
He said the 87-suite building has a handful of double occupancy rooms which fetch $800 a month, but the average rent for the rest of the single room occupancy suites is $447.
Tenants have told CBC they have been asking for repairs for years and have had problems with hot water.
Glover said while the hotel passed the recent inspection, the city identified two new problems: a ceiling tile and a hole in a bathroom floor.
He said issues with a new boiler emerged over the holidays, but he said contractors have been working to fix the problem permanently.
"There is currently hot water in the building, there was hot water in the building last night, and there was hot water in the building yesterday morning," he said.
The Murray Hotel was built in 1912, and Glover said last fall, the city approved a grant of $5,000 a room for an infrastructure upgrade. He says work will begin in the next six months.
But he notes that even with that money, Kenstone doesn't get the kind of operating subsidies which B.C. Housing-owned hotels receive.
"We are strictly tied to tenant rents," he said. "And that's the only way we can finance both maintenance within the building as well as staffing requirements."