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The province behaving like slumlords?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The owner of several rental buildings with health and safety problems in Vancouver just happens to be the province.

It is listed on a new City of Vancouver website naming and shaming bad landlords.

A number of the infractions are under the Fire by-law but some fall under the Standards of Maintenance by-law which can include issues such as inadequate heat and hot water, pest infestations, tripping hazards on stairs and hallways, and leaky faucets among others.

BC Housing says it’s taking steps to address the infractions through a capital investment of nearly $1 million.  It says it’s also renovating both the Gastown and Marble Arch buildings as part of a $143 million investment to improve nearly 900 Single Room Occupancy units in Vancouver.

Jean Swanson with Carnegie Community Action Project is not happy about this news. “I guess what it just shows is the province is a slumlord and they’re treating residents of single room occupancy similar to the way slumlords treat them.”

She says those SROs aren’t suitable for living in and don’t have private bathrooms or kitchens. “They need to be cleaned up but even if they are they aren’t adequate housing.  It’s some of the worst housing in Canada.”

The City of Vancouver launched the site in its war against substandard rental housing.

It lets renters know which buildings have been cited by the city as having fire, life safety, maintenance, electrical, plumbing or other issues.