Neighbours near derelict homes glad to see enforcement

Derelict home in Edmonton's core are getting taxed nearly three times the normal rate. Hear from those who live next to the homes on the city's response to run-down properties.

Derelict homes in the city’s core are being taxed even more.

People living around Commonwealth Stadium say they’ve had their problems with boarded-up and run-down properties, adding they’re happy to see the City of Edmonton now charging the owners of those homes nearly three times the normal property tax rate.

Neighbours hoping the move gets derelict homes cleaned up and back on the market.

“There’s a problem with housing in Canada right now, so it’s always better if there are people in them,” said one nearby resident.

City officials told CityNews, since announcing the tax over 6 months ago, nearly 15 per cent of Edmonton’s 300 derelict homes have been cleaned up. In addition, to a higher property tax rate, those who enforce bylaws say nearly 700 tickets have gone out to problem property owners as well.

Just blocks north of Commonwealth Stadium, community leaders on Alberta Avenue say the crackdown on dilapidated properties is something they’ve been waiting 20 years for. The homes are more than eyesores. They’re a safety hazard, particularly for Edmonton’s vulnerable.

“These houses and homes, they’re not fit for any human habitation. They’re derelict, they’re falling apart. Half the basement is completely gone. Once we called fire to come help, and they said wouldn’t go into the structure because it was so unsafe,” explained Christy Morin, the executive director of Arts on the Ave.

Morrin adds she would like to see the city enforce the same rules on derelict commercial properties next.

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