City of Windsor orders closure of apartment building where residents had no water

·1 min read
River Place Residence, whose occupants include former residents of the encampment known as tent city, has been deemed unsafe for occupancy. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
River Place Residence, whose occupants include former residents of the encampment known as tent city, has been deemed unsafe for occupancy. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

The City of Windsor says residents must move out of an apartment building that was recently cited for having a lack of running water and fire alarms.

The city said it will issue an order prohibiting occupancy at River Place Residences in Sandwich Town and all residents must be out by midnight on Tuesday. Agencies are working to help the displaced residents and provide alternative shelter.

Earlier this month, the southwestern Ontario city issued an "unsafe" building notice, setting a deadline for the landlord to fix major issues such as a lack of running water or working fire alarms.

Sanjay Maru/CBC
Sanjay Maru/CBC

Less than 24 hours after repairs were made, however, the water had to be shut off again due to vandalism.

"Some systems have been restored, but the potable water distribution system cannot be properly maintained, and the building remains unsanitary and therefore unsafe for all occupants," the media release stated.

City officials expressed regret about the outcome.

Debbie Cercone, the executive director of Housing, Homelessness and Children's Services, said the loss of the units will worsen the city's affordable housing situation.

"My hope is that this property can eventually be redeemed," said John Revell, chief building official. "The City of Windsor has several incentives available through the planning department to support redevelopment and turn this into a success in the Sandwich Community."

The building is home to some people who were formerly living at a ravine encampment dubbed tent city. Social agencies paired with the landlord to secure them shelter.

A few weeks ago, tenants were issued N13 notices, which give them 120 days before they can be legally evicted for demolition purposes.

Sanjay Maru/CBC
Sanjay Maru/CBC
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