Winnipeg Councillor Seeks Volunteers to find U of M Student Rooming Houses

I wish to thank CBC News and CBC Information Radio (Manitoba) for their assistance in helping to build awareness of this very complex problem related to neighbourhood livability and student safety in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward.

Please take a moment to read CBC’s news story, and listen to these interviews on CBC Information Radio.

CBC News   Posted: Apr 04, 2016 8:16 AM CT

A Winnipeg city councillor wants volunteers in parts of her ward to go door-to-door and search online to identify homes that are being used as rental properties for University of Manitoba students.

South Winnipeg–St. Norbert Coun. Janice Lukes is seeking volunteers in the Fort Richmond and University Heights areas to canvass their streets and help compile “an inventory of assumed rental houses.”

“We’re also doing cyber-survelliance — we’re basically going to be trolling Kijiji and making note of properties that are being rented on Kijiji,” she said in an interview Monday.

“All of this will help create an inventory to help us work with the department for bylaw enforcement.”

Residences zoned as family houses are being divided and converted into rental rooms for university students in the area, Lukes said.

Some of the converted homes could only be recognized as rooming houses, Lukes has said.

She has warned that someone could be hurt or killed if a fire breaks out in a house that is crammed with students.

Lukes is calling for one or two residents on a given street to knock on doors, ask some questions and record the information on a checklist.

She said she hopes the information gathered by volunteers will help city bylaw officers do their job, and she doesn’t believe going door-to-door would overstep the normal boundaries of neighbourly behaviour.

“We’re going to knock on the door. If the people don’t want to answer the door or they don’t want to give the information, that’s fine. I mean, there’s nothing nothing illegal or overstepping any boundaries there,” Lukes said.

“No, it’s just asking questions. It’s for safety, it’s for understanding if bylaws are being broken, if building code is being broken,” she added. “It’s no different than canvassing in an election.”

CBC Information Radio (Manitoba) – Hosted by Marcy Markusa

Part I – Interview with Councillor Janice Lukes
Part II – Interview with Residents in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward


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