For the past 17 years, Richard Schwab has been a tenant at the Arlington Hotel, an historic SRO on the edge of the Downtown Eastside. As a graduate of the Collaborative’s SRO Degree, he has been putting his knowledge and new skills to good use as an Outreach Organizer, acting as a connector between tenants in his building and with his fellow Double Os in other SROs. He now serves as the President of the Collaborative’s Board of Directors and regularly speaks out about the escalating rents that he and his neighbors are facing across the neighbourhood.
Samantha ThompsonVice Chair
Samantha Thompson (she/her) is a feminist urban geographer at the University of Washington. She will soon join the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research examines the relationship between care work and renters’ experiences of housing crises, including in Vancouver’s co-ops where she was raised. She has been involved with the SRO Collaborative since 2017. She is also a labour and tenant organizer with UAW 4121 and an editor of the Radical Housing Journal.
Floyd Wong is a highly accomplished individual who holds key positions in the community. In addition to serving as Treasurer of the SRO-C Board, he is Vice President of the Lotus Light Charity Society. Floyd was raised in Strathcona and his family has a rich history in Vancouver, with his great grandfather being among the many workers who immigrated to Canada to construct the railway. His family later established a wholesale produce business on Produce Row, which they still own. Floyd has degrees in computer technology, math, and business administration from UBC and Kwantlen Polytechnic. He was a Math and IT teacher at the Carnegie Learning Centre until his retirement in 2016. Floyd enjoys flying his drone remotely, gardening, reading non-fiction books, and surfing the internet.
Tamara Hurtado grew up in a working-class immigrant family in East Vancouver, which instilled a strong sense of community and appreciation for the labour movement’s role in creating a just and inclusive city. As the mother of a daughter with barriers to equality and inclusion, she became a founding member and first Executive Director of the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education. She feels her role on the SRO-C Board is to support the tenants and advocates who are laying a foundation for a good life in strong communities free of the degrading and debilitating risks of eviction and homelessness.
Tom deGrey is a Tenant Researcher with the SRO Collaborative and the Right to Remain. As a tenant advocate and researcher, Tom has both academic and lived experience of the complications which arise when vulnerable tenants attempt to assert their legal rights against powerful and resourceful landlords. He has experience of the effects of inadequate legal protection and bylaw enforcement on low-income tenants in his neighbourhood, as well as the roles of advocates, politicians, and researchers in supporting tenants’ rights.