“Our work is a warning to other landlords” – Tenants fight to improve living conditions in SROs: By Jean Swanson

The Lion Hotel in the Downtown Eastside

Mohammad Valayati doesn’t want the same thing to happen to the residents of the Lion Hotel that happened at the Clifton. The Clifton Hotel, on Granville Street in Vancouver, has 74 rooms and used to house low-income people. Valayati says that once “the owner realized that there was another market of students who could pay more… he let the building just fall apart. There were so many problems that when he started giving everyone illegal eviction notices they just wanted to run away. The smell, the cockroaches, the asbestos problem.” Eventually it was so bad that the city declared it a hazardous site. All the tenants were forced out. Because some of them got together with the advocates at the First United Church, they got a $3000 payout. But four or five of the people who got paid couldn’t find a place and became homeless.

(more to come…)

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