Elevator at Vancouver social housing building fixed months ahead of timeline

Click to play video: 'Portland Hotel elevator fixed one day after tenant protest'
Portland Hotel elevator fixed one day after tenant protest
The elevator at the Portland Hotel in the Downtown Eastside is back in service - repaired soon after tenants of the 88 units of supportive housing held a protest. While some residents with mobility challenges were temporarily moved into other buildings, those who stayed since September's hoist breakdown wonder why the fix took so long. Kristen Robinson reports. – Feb 11, 2023

An elevator at the Portland Hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has finally been fixed after five months of being broken.

The hotel, which is just over 20 years old, is operated by PHS Community Services Society, with Vancouver Coastal Health and BC Housing as community partners.

Previously on Monday, B.C. Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon pointed to “supply chain issues” as the culprit as to why it was taking so long to get fixed, and expected the elevator to be fixed in April.

That did not end up being the case, however, as on Friday, PHS confirmed the elevator had been fixed and a “broken wire” had been the issue.

“As part of the ongoing assessment of the current elevator while we await full modernization, a broken wire function was discovered and repaired on Tuesday and the elevator has been operational since that time,” said Tanya Fader, PHS Community Services Society’s director of housing.

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After receiving PHS’ emailed statement, Global News requested an interview with PHS Community Services Society Friday. It did not respond before publication.

“It just took like maybe 15-20 minutes of them working on it, and now it’s working again,” said Alex Cleroux.

On Saturday, building tenants were extremely happy the elevator was functioning once again.

“I’m feeling just great about it.,” said Joanne Campbell. “I’m feeling relieved that I don’t have to walk up the flight of stairs.”

Tenants have been extremely vocal regarding the broken elevator and held a protest last Monday.

Lisa Miller, who uses a walker to get around, said she often slept in the lobby of the hotel.

“I can walk down but I have to get the staff to help me with my walker to get down,” she said. “It (made) me feel terrible. It (made) me feel like I’m not worth anything to(the government).”

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