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Update on housing for tenants of the Balmoral Hotel

June 9 2017

Balmoral Hotel sideview of building
Photograph by City of Vancouver

BC Housing and the City of Vancouver have secured 131 housing units for residents of the Balmoral Hotel to begin moving into immediately. Pets are welcome in almost all units. The June 12 deadline to cease occupancy of the Balmoral Hotel has not changed.

A dedicated team from the City, BC Housing, and Vancouver Coastal Health is present in the building daily, and continues to work with tenants to identify housing options to meet their needs. Tenants have started to move out of the building and moving assistance is available.

"Over the past week, City staff, BC Housing, and non-profit partners have been going all-out to secure homes – not shelter spaces – for every tenant who is being displaced due to the evacuation of the Balmoral. I'm very pleased that BC Housing has come forward to help us secure homes for all of the Balmoral tenants, and ensuring that they will rent at welfare rates," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The safety and security of the tenants during the transition is our top priority and City staff will continue to work with BC Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health to support the tenants in the move. At the same time, the City awaits the next steps from our prosecutor on proceeding with taking the Sahota family to court for the 150+ violations related to the Balmoral Hotel."

We recognize the stress and strain this evacuation is putting on the tenants at the Balmoral, but the safety of the individuals in the building is our primary concern. The evacuation decision, issued by the chief building official on June 2, was based on assessment and recommendations of structural engineers and building code consultants that confirmed significant life safety risks to occupants of the building. In order to limit structural loads and minimize the number of people in the building, the chief building official issued an additional order on June 8 restricting access to tenants and authorized personnel.

Our primary aim is to support tenants displaced from the Balmoral in finding suitable permanent housing. Shelter spaces will be available, if necessary, for those who don't have other options on June 12, but as a temporary measure pending transition to housing. We are aware that there are a number of long time tenants and others that are concerned about their pets, belongings, and finding housing with their loved ones.

If they have not done so already, we are encouraging tenants to speak with Outreach staff as soon as possible. They are in the building every day by 10:00am.