Vancouver city hall targets downtown eastside’s troubled the lion hotel over numerous heat and safety issues

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– If the video games set to be unleashed this year are any indication, this will be a year of interactive exploration. At Reflections on the River, one would think the name would say it all: the display suite features an entire wall with an accordion-style window that opens to a spacious sundeck and a stunning view of… The Lion Hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside suffers from heat, gas pipe and fire safety concerns. — Arlen Redekop/PNG Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PROVINCE In November, the problem identified at The Lion hotel in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside was one of no heat or hot water.

Now the City of Vancouver has moved in and ordered The Lion’s owner, Abol Abdollahi, to make numerous other improvements to the problem-plagued rooming house by the end of next week. In a December 10 order obtained by The Province, the city inspected the boiler room, the electrical and the sprinkler systems in the hotel, finding major deficiencies in all areas. Abdollahi has until Dec. 24 to comply or the city claims it will take action. “Failure to comply with this order will result in the city initiating legal action against you and will not absolve you from complying, ” reads the notice. According to the legal notice sent to The Lion’s company address in West Vancouver, an inspection was done under the safety standards act and natural gas and propane installation code. The notice points out four areas of concern in the 70-room hotel at 316-324 Powell Street: 1. Installation of four condensing boilers and gas piping has been carried out without permits. 2. The venting has not been provided per manufacturers specifications.

3. The gas lines are not properly supported. 4. The total BTU’s exceed the regulated size. The city inspection is not the only handyman’s headache Abdollahi is dealing with. On Nov. 24, City of Vancouver fire and rescue services also inspected The Lion, found numerous violations and fined Abdollahi. Two tickets for $750 each were issued for fire code violations and another two tickets for $500 each were given to the owner for fire doors that were not properly maintained to code. A safety violation was also cited for a handrail needing repair and a lack of properly working fire extinguishers on the second floor. He will have to cover the $100 cost of a reinspection, the notice indicates. The City of Vancouver was first involved in early November after residents complained they were freezing in their rooms because there was no heat. The owner was given until January 26, 2016, to have the heating system working properly, or it will be done and billed to him. Residents at The Lion said they have complained to the owner for years about no heat and other problems at the single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel, but nothing was done. Abdollahi acknowledged to The Province that there were problems at his building beyond heating.

He said it would take some time to repair the deficiencies. NDP housing critic David Eby said “it is outrageous the tenants will have no heat during Christmas. ” He feels the provincial Residential Tenancy Branch does have the ability to go in and inspect the building but due to limited resources will not go in “unless the roof falls in. ” Eby said that most of the rents paid on behalf of the low-income and disabled tenants are through the provincial government. “This is all public money funding this place and the fact is there is no accountability for minimum standards.

“These landlords don’t mind cashing government cheques, but don’t provide minimum standards. ” On Thursday, Lion resident Gregory Zurek, 67, said his room is so cold he keeps a small electrical sandwich maker running to help break the chill. He pays $450 a month and said he still does not have heat, despite some work being done on the system. “There has never been heat on my side, ” said Zurek who has lived at The Lion for four years. “The radiator has never worked.

” Zurek said in the washroom there is a steady water drip into a light fixture from a pipe above, something he feels is very unsafe. “Water is coming down from the pipes above into the light fixture, ” he said. “It has been dripping for one year and is very unsafe. ” In the city order on Dec. 10, Abdollahi was instructed to fix open electrical splices in the ceilings and walls and provide proper fire separation barriers.

He has been advised to get an electrical permit and have a licensed electrical contractor go in and fix all the loose receptacles and switches and get another certified contractor to fix the fire sprinkler heads. “You are to obtain the required permit and inspections from the BC Safety Authority, ” concludes the notice.

jcolebourn@theprovince. com The Lion Hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside suffers from heat, gas pipe and fire safety concerns.

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