The City of Langford is in talks with Danbrook One owner, Centurion Property Associates, about how they should deal with the residents still living in the building.
According to a Jan. 7 press release, the City is in the process of making sure it has complete and accurate information before its final decision in the best interest of residents.
Before the city considers the decision to vacate residents from the tallest rental apartment building permanently, they are asking Centurion to provide a comprehensive remedial plan – one that details how the current structural issues will be dealt with.
That plan will also need to be signed off by a new engineer of record, and have a peer review by another engineering firm.
Ultimately, the City will need confirmation whether or not the steps are in place to fix the problems in a safe and timely manner. The City says there isn’t a solid deadline for Centurion to meet.
Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS)’s Doug King says Langford is toeing the line halfway on the issue.
“You’ve already deemed it uninhabitable, so why are people still living there?” said the executive director. “If there was a significant earthquake that took place tomorrow, what does the City say then? If anyone is hurt or killed, it’s on them.”
TAPS provides assistance for people with tenancy issues as one of its focuses. It’s the only organization in Victoria that provides free, face-to-face legal advocacy.
King said he wants to see more strict laws introduced that ensure the landlord has to take responsibility in cases such as these. He pointed out that there will likely be individuals who won’t be able to afford other housing accommodations, potentially leaving some homeless or couch-surfing.
Damage deposit and pet deposit has been an issue of concern for some residents. According to TAPS, landlords are legally obligated to deliver the deposit back within 14 days after receiving the address of a tenants’ new residence.
To date, residents of 20 units have taken advantage of the moving financial assistance from the City, while those in more than 60 units have received pre-paid gift cards worth up to $350. But the City has only received three applications for rent differential, available up to three months, with a cap of $1,200 per unit.