The Balmoral Hotel in Vancouver wins the award for worst rooming house in the world. The Crummy Cockroach prize was handed out as part of the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Tenant’s Convention It’s not recognition a landlord would want to have.
As part of the first annual (SRO) Hotel Tenant’s Convention, a Crummy Cockroach award was handed out to the worst rooming houses in the world as voted by people who currently or have lived there; I being one of those people, having stayed there in the early 90’s, Yup, the top prize went to the Balmoral Hotel on Hastings Street in Vancouver
Three years ago, a 32-year-old man died after being stabbed in the thigh at the rooming house. That incident was preceded by three other deaths and eight overdoses in the space of six months. Tamara Herman with the Carnegie Community Action Project says these hotels have deplorable conditions. “I think the conditions in a lot of SROs are less than perfect, but these ones are just notorious; everything from bed bugs, to roaches, to real cleanliness problems, black mould. The thing is, that despite all these problems, rents are still going up.
We track them every year. It’s a combination of those factors, but they really are notorious… the worst of the worst. What we’re hoping will come of this is, is that the city will force these hotels to go under non-profit management. It’s something that the bylaw calls for. It’s something that should happen when these conditions have been so deplorable for many years. They should be forcing these owners to have their hotels managed by a non-profit to make sure these people can live in decent living conditions.”