Last week, nearly 200 people were displaced due to the structural integrity of their building and have received little in the way of answers or compensation, so two fundraisers have been started to help them get back on their feet and find new places to live.
On April 24th, the City of Langford stripped RidgeView Place of its occupancy permit. The building was a rental apartment building located at 2770 Claude Road and this is actually the second time all its tenants have had to pack up their things and leave on a moment’s notice.
In 2019 and now again in 2023, the structural design and performance of the building has been deemed unsafe for occupancy and that’s all that’s been revealed by Langford or the firm who deemed the building unsafe, the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (EGBC).
Ashley MacDonald, an evicted RidgeView resident, says she feels disappointed.
“Whoever’s fault this is will be revealed in time, but the city needs to step up and take care of its residents,” Macdonald told Victoria Buzz.
“I was able to find somewhere [to live] on Friday,” she explained, but other evicted tenants are still looking for a place to live.
Initially, RidgeView Residents who were left to their own devices were offered a mere $1,000 from Centurion Apartment Properties Inc. (Centurion), who owned and managed the property, however after backlash from the evicted tenants, they raised this figure to a $2,500 offering.
The City of Langford also announced a few days after the mass exodus of residents that it had secured funding through BC’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) program.
From the ESS funding, RidgeView residents would be provided with money to help with their immediate costs related to accommodations and travel.
“This money saved our lives,” MacDonald said. “However, because everything happened so fast, and so last minute, and it was the end of the month — you try finding a mover on April 29th for May 1st, you can’t.”
On April 27th, a good samaritan named Lisa Foxall from a group of community organizers called ‘Our Langford’ launched a GoFundMe in an effort to aid the residents who’d been displaced.
“Please help support the residents that have been displaced and have no accommodations,” wrote Foxall on her fundraiser page.
“Your donations will be divided up between all residents to help towards their immediate costs of permanent or temporary accommodation, travel, food and out of pocket expenses.”
The City of Langford also stepped up to the plate to do their part in raising money for the RidgeView residents.
As of this publication, Foxall’s GoFundMe has reached nearly $9,000 of its $20,000 goal.
On May 1st, Mayor Scott Goodmanson, in partnership with the Westshore Developers Association (WSDA) and the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC), announced that Langford would be matching donations made through the city’s donation portal up to $75,000.
MacDonald was skeptical of Langford’s fundraiser, saying that she is unsure of how many people will actually donate to it and that funds are distributed based on need, and the application form won’t even be available for a week.
Mayor Goodmanson assured answers for the near 200 evicted tenants would be coming soon along with funds to help ease the burden of such an impromptu move.
“It’s really frustrating, and incredibly disappointing,” said MacDonald.