Beyond a Front Desk: The Residential Hotel as Home
This report is based on a comprehensive analysis of Winnipeg’s single room occupancy hotels. In developing and writing the report, an emphasis was placed on ensuring that the voices of SRO residents were heard and that they would identify and characterize their own realties. This was accomplished in a number of ways. First, a case study of Winnipeg hotels was undertaken, with field research including not only surveys, but also building trust among local residents. During the course of this fieldwork, researchers were able to become comfortable with the area and its people, while also developing a sense of the issues affecting hotel residents, owners and the surrounding community. Observations were drawn from a diverse set of downtown hotels that encompassed a region stretching from Broadway Boulevard on the south to Selkirk Avenue on the north. In total, eighty-one surveys were completed in nearly fifteen hotels, offering broad and contrasting perspectives on life in an SRO. The research was approached from three perspectives - the people who live in their rooms, the physical characteristics of the hotels (the bars, restaurants and common spaces), and the surrounding community. The goal was to determine whether SROs are an important form of affordable shelter. It was also our intent to determine whether practical solutions exist that could contribute to creating the best possible accommodation in an affordable and healthful manner.