Protest over broken elevator

Residents of a nine-storey building in Chinatown held a protest Saturday over an elevator that’s been broken for months.

CTV News reports Solheim Place houses 86 subsidized units. The building has two elevators — one only goes up to the sixth floor, while the other has been out of service since Sept. 26, 2018.

Tenants on the upper floors of the building have been left to use the stairs despite mobility issues and old age.

Things boiled over Saturday with a protest demanding the landlord fix the elevator immediately.

"This would never happen in a market building; this would never happen in a luxury condo building. It's because many of the tenants, they’ve said themselves, that it's because we're disabled, we're poor, we're seniors that they think they can take advantage of us," one of the rally organizers Nat Lowe told CTV.

The building is owned and operated by nonprofit S.U.C.C.E.S.S., which has an agreement with BC Housing. The group said in a statement the elevator broke down because of “old age and wear.”

The landlord says it has extended staff shifted to 11 p.m. to help carry items up and down the stairs and is working with BC Housing to find new housing for tenants of the upper floors.

"S.U.C.C.E.S.S. cares about the well-being of all tenants and we remain committed to working with all relevant parties to repair the elevator at Solheim Place in the timeliest manner possible," it said in the statement.

The protestors say they recently learned it could be at least another year before the elevator is fixed.

with files from CTV Vancouver 

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