Councillor Defends Call for House Search

I would like to thank Metro News-Winnipeg for their assistance in helping to build awareness of this very complex issue related to neighbourhood livability and student safety in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward.


Metro News – Winnipeg
By:   –  Published on Tue Apr 05 2016 04:38:00

Despite recent backlash, one Winnipeg councillor is sticking by her call for volunteers to report properties being used as rooming houses near the University of Manitoba.

Janice Lukes said Tuesday that she anticipated some pushback from community members outside her St. Norbet ward, after calling on volunteers to help search out houses that have been improperly converted from single-family to multi-use dwellings.

In many cases, she says, these homes are being run by absentee landlords who rent out the property to as many as 8-10 people, particularly young students, in order to generate cash.

“When you live on a street and you’ve got six, seven, eight properties with absentee landlords, there’s a lot of activity that goes on on that street that is not desirable,” Lukes said.

“So all these other communities around the city that are saying, ‘Oh, this is big brother,’ you live on a street with six rental properties with absentee landlords and you see what you’re living with.”

Besides the livability factor, Lukes pointed to the safety concerns raised by having too many renters crammed into a tight space.

She listed University Heights and Fort Richmond as areas heavily populated by rooming houses.

Lukes said that information collected by volunteers would be passed along to the city’s bylaw enforcement department, adding that a new website is in the works to help residents better report infractions, and educate students about what they should look for in a rental property.



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