Loading articles...

Residents protest broken elevator in Chinatown apartment building

Last Updated Apr 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm PDT

Solheim Place, an affordable housing building in Vancouver, is located at 251 Union Street. (Source: Google Maps)

The elevator has been out of service for almost 200 days

B.C. Housing recently approved the landlord's request to purchase a new elevator, but it won't be ready for months

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – At a protest on Saturday morning, the tenants of a Chinatown apartment building expressed their frustration at a broken elevator that has been out of service for almost 200 days.

Solheim Place, at 251 Union Street, is nine storeys tall, and many of the elderly residents of the non-profit apartment building need the elevator.

Resident Lisa Thys has been living there for 14 years. She says the elevator has been down since September and that’s a hardship, especially for the seniors in the building.

“There’s been a few people that have taken the stairs that have fallen and badly gotten hurt,” she says. “And that is very unacceptable.”

The residents don’t believe the landlord is doing enough to fix the elevator, Thys says, so they decided to hold a protest.

The building’s landlord, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., works with BC Housing to provide 86 residential units for low income families and seniors. The building has another elevator that is in service, but it doesn’t go to the top floor.

Queenie Choo, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.’ CEO, says it will take months to replace the elevator, which broke down due to old age. In the meantime, they’ve scheduled staff to help people up the stairs.

“We actually put in for staffing every day of the week until 11 p.m. in case the people need help to go up to the ninth floor,” she says.

Thys says it has been difficult to find those staff on site when a resident needs help.

BC Housing recently approved the landlord’s request to purchase a new elevator, Choo says, but it may not be installed for up to a year. Choo says the interim plan will be explained to tenants at a meeting next week.