UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

The Highs and Lows of SROs : Rents and the rate of change in the Downtown Eastside : 2019-2020 COVID-Eye’zd CCAP hotel survey & housing report York, Fiona


The Hotel Report has been published every year since 2008 to measure the progress, loss, and degradation of the Downtown Eastside’s privately-owned, privately managed Single Room Occupancy hotel stock. During that time, there have been some changes and minor improvements, but mostly a massive flight of affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable lowincome population while economic suffering compounded with the overdose crisis and multi-generational trauma to produce a homelessness and humanitarian emergency. Due to this year’s particular challenges and pandemic, this report comprises a longer than usual time frame, with updates from June 2019 through January 2021. The research is specific to privately-owned, privately managed hotels located within the Downtown Eastside. Once again, the data indicates an increase in average rents and decrease of overall affordable, available hotel units for the majority low-income Downtown Eastside population. All of this is against a backdrop of local and national political struggles around Indigenous land and water rights, police brutality and calls to defund the police, and a worldwide epidemic that triggered widespread community closures and overwhelming isolation but takes a fatality backseat to the ongoing devastation of the overdose crisis. Nothing short of a housing revolution is needed.

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