Tent City advocates head to court

Advocates for former tent city residents are in BC Supreme Court today (Friday) arguing for tenant rights.

The former homeless were moved into a building at 844 Johnson Street by BC Housing after tent city closed down outside the provincial courthouse in Victoria.

But the Vancouver-based non-profit running the building has moved to clamp down on drugs and other issues by imposing rules that ban visitors, and more.

The Portland Hotel Society maintains residents don't have rights under the tenancy act because the building is a "housing based health facility".

But Douglas King with Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS) says imposing blanket restrictions is simply wrong:

" Right. This isn't the first time this has come up in social housing. You know, we've seen buildings put blanket prohibitions on guests saying that a guest can't stay overnight, no guests can come in without identification -- which for a lot of people in the low income community is not an easy thing to adhere to. And it really punishes everybody in the building, even if it's just one or two people that are causing a problem."

King says advocates aren't saying PHS can't restrict privileges at all, but they need to do it on a person-by-person basis.

The Judge is expected to reserve decision until a later date.

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