B.C. Housing promises to find accommodations for evicted tenants of Victoria hotel
VICTORIA -- B.C. Housing now admits that more than two dozen paying customers of the Travelodge hotel were evicted from the Gorge Road East building that is now being used to house homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the organization insists that it did not give the order to do so.
“When we heard that, it was heartbreaking to be honest,” said Heidi Hartman, B.C. Housing director of operations for Vancouver Island.
What she had heard were the stories of people who had been told to leave the hotel. People who had being paying to live there and are now homeless.
Now, Hartman says that B.C. Housing is looking to find new accommodations for those who were displaced.
Hartman adds that B.C. Housing never asked anyone to leave the hotel. The agency has leased the property from the owners of the hotel, in order to shelter the homeless campers who are living on Pandora Avenue and Topaz Park.
The big question is, if B.C. Housing didn’t order the eviction, who did?
With only two stakeholders involved, B.C. Housing and the hotel, CTV News called the Travelodge to put the question to them.
We were told the manager was in a meeting and would call us back. By the time this story was published, we still hadn’t heard back from them.
Hartman says that a B.C. housing team was at the property on Thursday, telling people that they did not have to leave and that they were welcome to stay.
Summer McKay and Jay Clark are a couple that was evicted from the hotel. They had been sitting on their belongings in the parking lot for much of Thursday. They say no one had come to speak with them.
Many others say they also did not get that message.
According to B.C. Housing, 29-people who were staying at the Travelodge – that they know of – have been left without a place to live.
Now they are trying to make it right.
“If there was anyone who did spend the night outside, they need to reconnect with us,” said Hartman. “They’ll be welcomed back to the community.”
Or, according to B.C. Housing, a more suitable accommodation will be provided for them.