British Columbia

City, province say they have housing for displaced Vancouver SRO residents

The City of Vancouver says it's secured 131 housing units for low-income residents of the Balmoral Hotel on East Hastings. The city ordered the building evacuated on June 2 due to fears the building was so derelict it could collapse.

City says it's working with residents to move them into housing that fits their needs

The City of Vancouver says it has found 131 units of housing for the displaced residents. (Harold Dupuis/CBC)

The City of Vancouver and B.C. Housing say they have found 131 housing units for displaced residents of the Balmoral Hotel.

The city says "almost all" of the 131 units are pet friendly and outreach workers are at the hotel to get residents into the replacement housing, while others have already moved.

"Over the past week, city staff, B.C. Housing, and non-profit partners have been going all-out to secure homes — not shelter spaces — for every tenant who is being displaced due to the evacuation of the Balmoral," Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement.

Low-income residents of the single-room occupancy (SRO) building on East Hastings Street have been in limbo since June 2, when the city ordered it evacuated over fears of a collapse.

The city says building inspectors and engineers have found water damage, rot, fire concerns and structural issues at the Balmoral.

The city accuses the hotel's owners, the Sahota family, of maintaining unacceptable conditions for decades, causing significant problems for police and the city.

It has ordered the owners to begin repairs of the building once residents have moved out and is taking the family to court over more than 150 alleged violations.

Robertson says the city is awaiting next steps from a prosecutor.

According to city officials there are currently 128 units being rented at the Balmoral housing 142 people, so they are "confident" the 131 units will be enough.

The 131 units are spread throughout the city and the locations of those units are not being disclosed for privacy reasons.

All residents of the Balmoral have been ordered to leave by June 12.

With files from The Canadian Press.