Statement from City of Vancouver on tenant relocation from the Balmoral Hotel

Balmoral Hotel sideview of building
Photograph by City of Vancouver
June 2 2017 –

The City of Vancouver would like to clarify the efforts that the City and other partners are making to support tenants facing relocation from the Balmoral Hotel.

Following the Chief Building Official's order posted this morning that occupancy of the Balmoral Hotel cease as of June 12, Outreach staff from the City, BC Housing, and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) have attended the building on two occasions today and have been meeting with residents to discuss relocation plans to determine the individual needs of each tenant.

These on-site visits will continue over the coming days.

Supporting tenants with relocation

The City recognizes the strain the order to vacate must be putting on tenants. The purpose of these face-to-face meetings with tenants is to:

  • Understand their needs and identify the right place for them to evacuate to and ultimately, move in to (a number of housing and shelter options are immediately available)
  • Support their evacuation – moving important personal belongings immediately and securing or storing their remaining belongings until they can all be moved to their new home
  • Plan how to move tenants' belongings to their permanent home
  • Ensure that any additional supports that a tenant may need for medical or daily living purposes are provided

Once each tenant's needs have been assessed, City staff will work with BC Housing and VCH to find housing that meets those needs. If required for tenants with no other immediate options, emergency shelter space will be available while efforts to meet their longer-term housing needs continue.

Evacuating and relocating tenants from the Balmoral Hotel was a last resort decision, but it is clear from the professional assessment of the building that the imminent risk is too great for the residents to remain.

It is the owners' legal obligation to support tenants with relocation under the Residential Tenancy Act and the City continues to seek confirmation from the owners regarding their plans in that regard.  

Notwithstanding the owners' obligations, the City, BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, tenant advocates, and other community partners will provide supplemental support to help tenants find alternate housing and get access to other supports. The supports will be available immediately upon today's Order issuance and over the course of the coming days and weeks as tenants move out of the building.