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Study finds only 12% of SROs affordable to welfare recipients

Standing on the corner of Columbia and Cordova streets, Elaine Shepherd speaks out about being suddenly evicted from her single-occupancy room at the Balmoral Hotel.

Standing on the corner of Columbia and Cordova streets, Elaine Shepherd speaks out about being suddenly evicted from her single-occupancy room at the Balmoral Hotel.

With April’s rent paid in full, she came home one day mid-month and discovered she’d been locked out of her room for no apparent reason.

“They didn’t give me any notice ... they just locked me out.”

With no money for alternative shelter, Shepherd ended up on the streets. And she isn’t the only one finding rentals are too pricey. A report released yesterday by the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) found only 12 per cent of 3,500 hotel rooms in the DTES are affordable to low-income people. This is down 17 per cent from 2009.

“More than half of all the privately owned rooms rent for over $425 a month, $50 more than a person on (social assistance) can afford,” said one of the report’s co-authors, Wendy Pedersen.

 
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