Langford residents living in RidgeView Place were all kicked out of their homes on Monday April 24th, with no forewarning, and this isn’t the first time this had happened.
In 2019, the building had its occupancy permit stripped due to structural concerns and now, once again, the building’s permits have been taken away leaving nearly 200 residents effectively homeless.
Ridgeview Place, formerly Danbrook One, is located at 2770 Claude Road and owned by Centurion Apartment Properties Inc. Initially, after the announcement that the occupants needed to vacate immediately, they were offered a mere $1,000 to help them find a new place to live and a free week of rent.
In a follow-up press conference with Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson on Thursday, April 27th, he announced more support was coming down the line for the now homeless residents, including money for temporary accommodations, transport and food.
These funds are coming from BC’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) program, and were brought to the table for RidgeView residents by the Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, Bowin Ma and the Minister of Housing, Ravi Kahlon.
“This is not long-term,” said Mayor Goodmanson. “This is to get people right now who are between insurance, or for whatever reason don’t have the money for hotels, this is to get them through this next short period.”
Centurion is also stepping up their relief effort to the residents of RidgeView Place. The initial $1,000 the company said it would provide to its residents has been topped up to $2,500, per unit.
Mayor Goodmanson insisted that these new supports and the additional funds from Centurion and the province are only the beginning of what Langford wants to be able to do in order to aid those affected by the mass eviction.
He also insisted that the issues with the building causing the eviction have yet to be fully disclosed with himself or City of Langford staff.
The issues have only been referred to as “serious structural concerns” by the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (EGBC) who conducted a scan of the building’s structural integrity over the weekend.
“I hate to say this, but as mentioned before, we don’t know that level [of severity],” said Mayor Goodmanson.
“We know that EGBC said that, ‘this is very important, we have questions on the structural design.’”
Structural engineers recommended the building be evacuated immediately based on the scan they conducted, but Langford’s mayor said no in depth test has yet been conducted.
“I wish I could give people more information, but that level of investigation has not happened,” said Goodmanson.
Now, residents are left to their own devices in terms of finding a permanent home in the area, which is no easy feat in Greater Victoria’s current rental climate.
People moving out of the building should not expect to live at RidgeView Place again anytime soon, according to Mayor Goodmanson.
“This is a long-term moveout,” he explained. “You’re not moving out for a week, you’re not moving out for a month.”
“The city has said that the owner has to have a comprehensive, independent structural review of the entire building. That is going to be an invasive process, it’s not a cursory check.”
“They don’t even have a timeline, but I’m telling you, this is going to be a long process, so those moving aren’t going to be back next month.”