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The SRA Bylaw prevents the loss of low-income housing and the displacement of tenants in Vancouver's Downtown core.
Single room accommodation includes single room occupancy hotels (SRO), rooming houses, and non-market housing with rooms less than 320 square feet.
The bylaw prevents tenant displacement and the loss of this housing stock by regulating its alteration, conversion, and demolition.
SRO Revitalization Action Plan
In October 2016, the City convened a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Task Force, bringing together a variety of stakeholders to identify concerns in the SRO stock and develop near and long-term recommendations.
The inputs of the SRO Task Force supported the ongoing evolution of the SRO Strategy and informed broader initiatives such as Housing Vancouver.
Properties designated under the bylaw include:
- Residential hotels and single room occupancy (SRO) hotels
- Rooming houses
- Other non-market housing with rooms that are less than 320 square feet
Most SRAs are privately owned and operated, and provide minimal quality of housing: a room typically 100 square feet in area with a basic cooking setup (like a hot plate) and a shared bathroom in the hall. Tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.
The City's policy is to replace SRA housing over time with safe, secure, and self-contained dwelling units (sleeping area, living area, private kitchen, and bathroom) that are affordable to low-income singles.
The SRA Bylaw applies to the area bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, Clark Drive to the east, Terminal Avenue and False Creek to the south, and Burrard Street to the west.
The SRA inventory was created as part of the 2003 Survey of Low Income Housing and is published every two years.
To find an SRA, use the map below or the SRA inventory in Schedule A of the SRA Bylaw (260 KB).
Map of SRA buildings and SRA Bylaw area
SRA building owners that want to alter, convert, or demolish rooms must apply for an SRA conversion or demolition permit. A permit can be approved outright, approved with conditions, or refused.
City Council or the chief housing officer grant permits based on criteria from the Vancouver Charter section 193 D .
City Council and the chief housing officer generally support permit applications that:
- Enhance the livability of SRAs (like adding bathrooms or cooking facilities)
- Protect existing tenants
- Maintain affordability
- Replace SRA units on a one-for-one basis
Non-profit SRA owners
Non-profit organizations that own SRAs may apply for a grant of $5,000 per room to complete building upgrades.
To ensure buildings are safe, tidy, and well maintained for tenants, we inspect SRAs every year, as well as if complaints are made.
When we inspect SRAs, owners must have the following records available:
- A Notice of Designation posted in an obvious location (260 KB)
- A completed room registration form for each occupant of each designated room (260 KB)
- A tenant register (100 KB) that lists the following items for each designated room:
- Room number
- Name of each permanent resident
- Rent amount
- Rent payment period (such as weekly or monthly)
- Tenancy start date
These records must be made available to the director of licenses and inspections upon request.
If SRA owners don’t follow the regulations, they may be fined $500 to $10,000 per offence, per room.
For ongoing, unresolved offences, the fines may accumulate and we may seek to prevent owners from altering, converting, or demolishing SRAs.