Gentrification destroying hundreds of SRO hotel rooms: report

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As many as 404 privately owned SRO (Single Room Occupancy) hotel rooms have been destroyed by gentrification, according to a new report by the Carnegie Community Action Project.

In eight of the fastest gentrifying hotels, average rent has more than doubled since 2009, from $424 per month to $905. Average rent in three of those hotels has breached $1,000.

“One of the hotels, the Golden Crown, located across the street from Woodward’s, is now advertising an SRO unit for a staggering $1,500 a month on Craigslist. Golden Crown is an extreme example of the impacts of gentrification on the neighbourhood, but we can expect a similar pattern in the coming years with the development of new condo projects, such as 955 E Hastings,” reads the report.

Image: CCAP

Image: CCAP

The report notes that despite the addition of 125 welfare-rate social housing units in the Woodward’s building, its construction contributed to a “climate of investment and gentrification” that destroyed the affordability of that neighbourhood.

A number of groups have also expressed concern over the rapid gentrification Chinatown is currently experiencing. Many shops and grocers that cater to the lower income Chinese community are being replaced with high-end retailers, according to the report, and without policy changes, the situation could become “dire.”

As of February 2016, only 11 units of welfare rate housing were built in Chinatown, compared to 604 units of above-welfare rate housing, which does include some social housing.

That represents a 55:1 ratio of above-welfare rate housing to welfare rate housing, much higher than the 1:1 ratio recommended by the 2005 Downtown Eastside Housing plan.

To read the full report, click here.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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