B.C. government announces $11M grant for training single-room occupancy hotel tenants

By The Canadian Press

The B.C. government says it’s providing $11 million in grant funding to a non-profit in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside aimed at training and empowering tenants of single-room occupancy hotels.

The provincial housing ministry says in a news release the money is going to the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society for three years of life-skills training programs the society offers to tenants of privately owned single-room occupancy buildings.

The ministry says programs offered by the society include fire safety and overdose prevention training, with funding projected to reach more than 2,700 tenants in more than 50 privately run buildings.

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The ministry says the one-time funding boost will also support initiatives for tenant-driven cleaning and repair work and organizing committees to prevent evictions.

The society’s executive director, Wendy Pedersen, says in the release that the buildings are a last resort for people before they become homeless, and improving their habitability will make them safer and strengthen community connections.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the grant funding supports vulnerable people on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and that people living in the buildings know best how to support their fellow tenants.

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