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Balmoral Hotel wins award for worst DTES rooming house

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s not recognition a landlord would want to have.

As part of the first annual Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotel Tenant’s Convention, a Crummy Cockroach Haven award was handed out to the worst rooming houses in the city as voted by people who currently or have lived there.

The top prize went to the Balmoral Hotel on Hastings Street.

The Regent Hotel came in second place, followed by the Cobalt.

Tamara Herman with the Carnegie Community Action Project says these hotels have deplorable conditions.

“I think the conditions in a lot of SROs are less than perfect.  But these ones are just notorious. Everything from bed bugs, to roaches, to real cleanliness problems, black mould. The thing is that despite all these problems rents are still going up. We track them every year. It’s a combination of those factors but they really are notorious… the worst of the worst.”

She says the goal is to improve housing.

“What we’re hoping will come of this is, is that the city will force these hotels to go under non-profit management.  It’s something that the bylaw calls for. It’s something that should happen when these conditions have been so deplorable for many years.  They should be forcing these owners to have their hotels managed by a non-profit to make sure these people can live in decent living conditions.”

All of awarded hotels are owned by the Sahota family.