City Staff Take Action on Jay Rooms and Rooms Open Up

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Good news about the Jay Rooms at Main and Cordova. The rooms above the old Vic’s Restaurant (soon to be another Waves Coffee Shop) are closed but about to open to women above the age of 45 who are having trouble living in the hotels.  CCAP is part of this good news story.  Read on to learn more.

Since March community residents have been noticing that the upstairs rooms were being used as offices, contrary to the Single Room Accommodation bylaw which requires that they be used as single room accommodation unless city council says otherwise.

In July, Matthew Matthew, president of the Carnegie Board, wrote to Barb Windsor of the city’s licensing department, saying that he suspected the rooms were being used illegally.  She did not get back to him.

On October 1, the agent for the owner of the building met with CCAP and said there were only 6 rooms, with another 6 closed by fire damage, and that it would cost $200,000 to make them all habitable as rooms.  He wanted CCAP to agree not to demand that the SRA bylaw be enforced, claiming that he might build some social housing (with condos) at some time in the future.

On Oct. 31 CCAP wrote an official email to the city saying we wanted the 12 rooms opened as single room accommodation and the bylaw enforced.  No answer.

In early December the new city council took office.  On Dec. 18 CCAP got an email from Windsor saying: “We recently carried out an inspection of the above premises and noted that the 12 rooms had been converted into office space, without permits and in violation of the Single Room Accommodation By-Law.”

“Notification has been sent to the owners of this violation and the file has been referred to the City Prosecutor to pursue laying charges.”

“Once I hear back from the Prosecutor with respect to the charges I will advise you.”

“It is also noted that they applied for an SRA Conversion permit on November 7th, 2008.”

On Jan. 3 CCAP got an email from Atira saying that it would open the 12 (not 6) rooms if it could raise $40,000 (not $200,000).  It is our understanding that the money to open these rooms has been found and that these rooms will be opened soon.