For residents of the Regent Hotel, a single-room occupancy (SRO) building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, life was back to normal when the elevator broke down.
It wasn’t uncommon for the building’s elevator to stop working and force residents to have to walk up and down seven flights of stairs.
But residents were no less fed up when the elevator stopped working for as long as two weeks in a building owned by the notorious Sahota family, who also own the Balmoral Hotel.
Resident Nick Cunningham said the Regent’s owners were told that the elevator hasn’t been working for almost two weeks.
“We were promised it was going to be fixed this past Monday,” he said. “It’s now Thursday, the elevator company was here yesterday working on it for about two to three hours, and as you can see the elevator is still not working.”
LISTEN: Global News Radio reporter Jeremy Lye with SRO resident Nick Cunningham
Barb, a 52-year-old resident who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), said a broken elevator creates a difficult situation for her, as she has to scale six flights of stairs just so she can buy food and medicine.
“They just put Band-Aids on everything until they can’t put Band-Aids on it anymore, and it just breaks down like this,” she said.
“Fix the elevator, fix it once and for all instead of Mickey-Mousing it all the time,”
Barb said it takes her 15 minutes to walk downstairs, and that those who can’t walk at all rely on others to fetch supplies for them.
LISTEN: (WARNING: Strong language) Global News Radio reporter Jeremy Lye with SRO resident Barb
Nick said several residents are elderly and frail, and that a broken elevator makes them prisoners in their own homes.
The City of Vancouver said the elevator had been repaired in an emailed statement.
Late last year, the Sahota family was slapped with 500 building violations by city inspectors due to “unlivable conditions” at the Regent.