Good news for Asia hotel residents: By Jean Swanson
ATIRA women’s resource society will be the new manager of the Asia Hotel on Pender St. owned by the Mah Society. This news comes after over a year of uncertainty. The building was scheduled for renovation. It was unclear when current residents would be evicted. Nor was it clear whether they could come back, and what rents would be changed.
According to Janice Abbott, executive director of ATIRA, the non-profit group will take over management of the building on July 1st. It will be fully renovated. Tenants will be relocated during the renovation and have the right to return to the renovated building and pay the same rent they were paying before the renovation.
Renovations will likely start in about 6 months.
The Carnegie Community Action Project has repeatedly told City Council that residents of hotels in Chinatown are at risk of being evicted by higher rents as gentrification proceeds. At least 561 new condos are planned for Chinatown right now. It is good news that 34 rooms of low-income housing will be protected at least for the time being.