British Columbia

Fraser River squatter Steve Borik gets subsidized housing

A homeless man who has been squatting on vacant industrial land on the shores of the Fraser River will soon be moving into subsidized housing.

Borik had been living in his shelter for months until Transit Police ordered him out

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      A homeless man who has been squatting on vacant industrial land on the shores of the Fraser River will soon be moving into subsidized housing.

      Steve Borik, 56, set up his camp seven months ago on the empty industrial lot in South Vancouver and has refused all attempts to move him into a shelter.

      The tidy tarps and tents have a million-dollar view of the river.

      "I will not live in a shelter. I had a room one time, it was like bed bugs and stuff like that," he said. "I'd rather be in a place like this. I don't ask for welfare, I don't ask for any handouts from the government at all."

      But in March transit police arrived with an eviction order and told him he had to move.

      Since then Borik, who says he continues to work as a carpenter, has refused to move into an SRO hotel, saying he prefers to survive on his own.

      On Wednesday morning, police and social workers from Carnegie Centre arrived again at the camp, but this time they told Borik they had subsidized housing for him.

      "I've phoned them before. They couldn't help me. But all of a sudden now since, I guess, I'm on the media things have changed," he said. 

      He'll be able to move in on June 1 and in the meantime he won't be evicted from his camp.

      Borik said he is happy to have a home to look forward to and is looking forward to reconnecting with his kids.

      With files from Belle Puri

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