Friday, April 12, 2024

City resident tries to tie city's nuisance enforcement ramp up to current Housing situation

The city's recent push on enforcement on nuisance properties made
for a popular topic in the public discussion period at Monday's 
Prince Rupert City Council session

Monday's City Council session found the public comment period one where the city's recent work to expand on their enforcement  of nuisance properties gained some feedback from the public.

As we noted earlier this week, the first exchange on the issue came from the owners of a property on Second Avenue West, who outlined some of their frustrations at the civic policy and in particular how the city delivers its notices towards those properties.

A second presentation to Council took on the topic in a different view, that of suggesting that some of the city's enforcement on nuisance housing stock may be working against their quest for more housing  availability in the community.

The resident who has been in the community since 1976 provided some background on his own situation related to property ownership, noting how some financial challenges had led he and his family to fall behind on their own maintenance for their properties.

A situation that he suggested was exacerbated by the recent civic legislation and enforcement towards nuisance properties. His commentary observing how he had forwarded letters to the city noting how many of the homes in question towards those nuisance orders  date back to the Second World War and currently  have a range of pollutants.

As part of his commentary, while acknowledging that the clean up needs to be done, he offered up to council that the cost of that onus of clean up should not necessarily be totally on the property owners, highlighting the varying fees and challenges that they face for property remediation.

"We assume that these houses were built with a building permit and  complied with the law at ttime.  But the law says now it's not allowed ... take it to the garbage dump, but to take it to the garbage dump you have to pay special fees because it's got pollutants and you have a whole series of things to comply with.

It should be a difference between industrial and people with large mansion and small little houses ..." 

For the most part his presentation was to seek out some solutions from City Council as to how individual property owners could address those challenges and how those financial burdens are impacting on the amount of housing stock available in the community.

Among his recommendations was that the city should bring together a number of stakeholders from the province to regional First Nations to develop modular housing, something he offered up would help to resolve some of the homeless issues in the community. 

The City's councillors did not speak directly towards the overall presentation of earlier in the evening, during their own discussions of later in the session

But both Councillor Forster and Niesh did take some time to explore the theme of landfill costs and potential ways for residents to reduce those burdens.

The full presentation during the public discussion   can be reviewed through the city's video archive page staring at the 16 minute mark, the Councillor's contributions to the themes can be reviewed at the 52 minute mark.

Largely the City doesn't have a place in the conversation and the taxpayers likely would frown on the idea of providing any financial assistance to individual property owners. 

Particularly when it comes to taking care of the maintenance that they should be doing as part of their responsibilities as  owners of property.

There may however, be some areas for a review, whether in  landfill costs or the cost of other civic regulations  where the municipality could offer some form relief, guidance, or advocacy to the province  towards remediation when it comes to old housing stock to be returned to active use.

More notes on Monday's council session can be reviewed through our Council Session archive page.

A wider overview of the Housing issues in the region can be explored here.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the city should give incentives for your property well taken care of, rather than pay more tax because your property looks more valuable when clean and tidy