Urban Fold

One Drug Hotel at a Time

British Columbia has converted nearly two dozen formerly notorious hotels into housing for the homeless.

"In less than two years, the Backpacker's Inn has been transformed from B.C.'s worst drug hotel into one of the best examples of the province's effort to end homelessness.

The Beacon Hotel -- as the building has been re-branded -- is one of 23 aging residential hotels owned or operated by BC Housing in the Downtown Eastside. All but one of those are expected to be reopened by January.

Critics of the $144 million investment -- $90 million to buy the hotels and another $54 million to fix them up -- have noted that because most of these hotels were occupied prior to purchase or lease by the province, and because hotels including the Backpackers literally evicted former tenants to make way for renovations, the reopening of these 1,325 rooms will not reduce Vancouver's homeless population on anything approaching a one-person, one-room basis."

Thanks to RE:Place Magazine

Full Story: A Beacon for Ending Homelessness

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