Calgary

Chinatown highrise drops rent for low-income seniors

Some low-income Calgarians living in a Chinatown highrise are getting a reprieve on their rents after the building’s owner faced pressure from an advocacy group.

Bowside Manor, subsidized by CMHC, still charging some renters too much, advocacy group says

Some low-income Calgarians living in a Chinatown highrise are getting a reprieve on their rents after the building’s owner faced pressure from an advocacy group.

Bowside Manor is subsidized by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to provide low-income housing.

But last month CBC News reported that many of its residents were paying rent that exceeded 30 per cent of their income, and that they were facing a rent hike in the new year.

Since then, Bowside Manor has decided to lower the rent by up to $200 per month for 10 of its tenants, said Liza Chan, who runs the Chinese Elderly Citizens Association.

“I think it's not right. You should do things automatically according to the rules, not when you have pressure from the media. You do something in order to smooth the situation,” she said.

Last month, the CMHC said Bowside Manor was not breaking any of its rules, and the province said it cannot enforce a 30 per cent cap because it doesn't fund the building.

Nonetheless, Chan believes the 30 per cent benchmark should apply.

And she said the battle isn't over yet.

Her association is still pressuring Bowside Manor to reduce the rent for at least five other residents whose rent exceeds that threshold.

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