Winnipeggers concerned over growing number of vacant homes

Winnipeg currently has over 500 vacant boarded up homes, and each one can have unforeseen consequences on neighbours in the area. A group of Winnipeggers are getting them properly boarded up and listed with the city. @AlbsCityNews reports.

By Mike Albanese

There are numerous homes vacant and boarded up on Flora Avenue, some legally and some illegally.

One group is trying to ensure these houses are secured and put back on the market because these vacant spaces are causing danger and stress to people in the neighbourhood.

“It seems quiet in the daytime, as soon as it gets dark there are people lurking everywhere,” said a resident of the community that wish to remain unnamed. “There are one, two, three four and five just around my house, it’s really scary.”

CityNews spoke to a mother who sees dangerous activity in these abandoned homes every night. Her daughter goes to school down the street, and the short journey past them can be nerve-racking.

“It’s heartbreaking and it’s getting scarier and scarier for the women and the grandmothers who are on this street and in the neighbourhood,” she explained.

Sel Burrows is working with a large group of Winnipeg volunteers, compiling a list of illegally boarded-up homes. They’ve added over 100 illegally boarded-up homes to the city’s vacant homes list in just two weeks. That list was already at 560.

Burrows hopes the city sees just how many of these homes there are and begins to crack down on landlords to get them back on the market. Adding that way there will be fewer homes burned by squatters, and more homes available for city residents to live in.

While CityNews was talking to Burrows one of his volunteers submitted three new addresses that all had signs of squatters inside.

Burrows is urging all Winnipeggers to call 311 when they see a vacant house to ensure the city knows about it.

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