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Vancouver home prices have some living in campers. And businesses have had it with them

The City of Vancouver is cracking down on people who have parked their RVs and turned them into living spaces but as Aaron McArthur reports, the problem isn't going anywhere.

They line Glen Dr. near the Home Depot close to Vancouver’s train station.

Camper vehicles — about a half dozen of them, and people living inside them because they can’t afford to live anywhere else.

WATCH: The growing lack of affordable housing in Metro Vancouver has forced more people to turn living in RVs.

The growing lack of affordable housing in Metro Vancouver has forced more people to turn living in RVs.
The growing lack of affordable housing in Metro Vancouver has forced more people to turn living in RVs.

“Obviously, the city and the police are quite lenient for the RVs that are parked here,” said one camper, who didn’t want his face shown on TV.

Authorities are loath to remove them amid a housing crisis.

But businesses in the area have grown frustrated. They’ve noticed campers stealing power, making a mess and clogging up the street.

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“We’ve emailed with the city multiple times, police, everybody we can think of, all of the neighbours together,” said Sara Samieian of Moe’s Furniture, a store on Glen Dr.

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“And unfortunately have got nowhere.”

Campers are breaking bylaws, as they’re parked illegally and creating obvious safety violations.

The city will issue tickets, but they’ll only do that when people complain.

READ MORE: Amid high housing prices, growing number of Metro Vancouver residents living in RVs

Can’t the city just tow the campers? Sure — but that’s a last resort, said Taryn Scollard, director of streets at the City of Vancouver.

“Towing is our last resort for a lot of different vehicles, regardless of what people are using them for,” she said.

“Rush hour zones are the main reason we tow vehicles as well as safety infractions, other than that we tow as a last resort.”

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Housing outreach teams have come by the campers, trying to convince them to move indoors more permanently.

But that’s a tough sell in Canada’s priciest city.