Canada: Surplus of abandoned homes frustrate Bankview residents - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Surplus of abandoned homes frustrate Bankview residents

16:40  25 november  2019
16:40  25 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Residents in the Mitchell area of Southwest Memphis say they are fed up with the double dose of an eyesore that's sitting on their block. Neighbors reached out to us desperate to get something done about the abandoned homes that are drawing the wrong type of attention to their neighborhood.

Bankview Community Centre has a newly renovated Hall available for rent, click to find out more. Quarterly Newsletter. What is happening at the Bankview Community Association?

The Calgary neighbourhood of Bankview is known for its views of downtown and boasts some pretty coveted, and often pricey, real estate.

But some residents say they are tired of being surrounded by a mess that is driving down their property values and bringing social disorder to their street.

"Who would buy my house? Nobody would buy this house. I couldn't give it away right now," said Bankview resident Tom Campbell.

Campbell bought his bungalow 25 years ago. He takes pride in his property. The yard and exterior of his home are immaculately kept. He used to love the view from his front window but not anymore.

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Talise Banks talks about the past decade, when homeowners could not meet mortgage payments and keep up the appearance of their houses. Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News.

"I see a house that's been abandoned for eight years now to the north of me, and across the street seven more houses that have been abandoned just since the fall," he said.

Those houses have been purchased for redevelopment and so far there is every indication the redevelopment will go ahead. Campbell and his neighbours hope that happens sooner, rather than later.

a house covered in snow: Neighbours of abandoned homes in Bankview say the buildings are decreasing their property values and increasing social disorder. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Neighbours of abandoned homes in Bankview say the buildings are decreasing their property values and increasing social disorder.

They point to that other house — the one Campbell referenced has been sitting vacant for the past eight years — as an example of how empty houses can attract problems.

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California residents who abandon their property must follow certain guidelines to reclaim it. Property is considered abandoned only after a lease is terminated. Termination occurs when the lease is up and the tenant moves out, or if the tenant is legally evicted.

I am half owner of a home and sole owner of the land on which it sits. Can he come into the home at his leisure to look for other property as he has threatened to do? (2) As used in this section and sections 252a through 252l, " abandoned vehicle" means either of the following

"For eight years I have had to look at that and there have been chronic problems," said Campbell .

"I mean, it's scary, there's no one living in these houses so at nighttime there are people squatting in there. One night I came home and there was a guy who was absolutely going crazy in the back yard there and it took four police officers to get him subdued," he continued.

Ryan Gillick lives across the street from the problem house. He said at one time it was luxurious. It is large, and towers over nearly every other house in sight. It has a stone exterior and a balcony on every level.

When it was purchased, Gillick said he had high hopes it would be renovated or torn down and replaced.

"They're squatting in it," said Gillick. "There's a lot of social disorder and thievery that I have noticed as well from people coming into the neighbourhood and stuff is going missing from yards, and they come into my yard and rummage around and things go missing."

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Definition of abandoned property in the Legal Dictionary - by Free online English dictionary and encyclopedia. She said: "For a number of years my house has been suffering from damp and leaks due to an abandoned property next door to me.

Abandoned property is one to which the owner has relinquished all rights including reasonable expectation of privacy. Abandoned property laws govern the requirements that must be followed to dispose of unclaimed property. Please view your state laws below for the requirements in your state.

a stove top oven sitting inside of a building: An abandoned swimming pool filled with broken glass and other debris is easily accessible from an open window in an abandoned home in Bankview in Calgary. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation An abandoned swimming pool filled with broken glass and other debris is easily accessible from an open window in an abandoned home in Bankview in Calgary.

For the most part the house is well secured. Nearly all of the doors and windows are tightly boarded. Except one.

The large sliding window at the rear of the house is open pretty much all of the time according to Gillick.  

It's big enough and low enough to the ground that just about anyone can gain entry inside.

If someone does go in, their foot will meet a narrow ledge. 

Below the ledge is an empty concrete swimming pool filled with broken glass, old window frames, nails and other debris.

"Someone is going to get really hurt or killed," said Gillick. "Just tear it down. Stop giving them a place to go."

How long can a home sit vacant and boarded up?

Ryan Pleckaitis is the City of Calgary's chief bylaw officer.

"There's no specific piece of legislation that I'm aware of that is explicit that states that a building, for example, can only be boarded up for so long. Time the property has been boarded up is one consideration when we take into account problems associated with any of these properties.

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Abandoned property is an asset that has been turned over to the state after several years of inactivity. States have abandoned property divisions that focus on the management and recovery of unclaimed property. In general, assets will take this route after a dormancy period of two to five years.

A listing of abandoned locations in the United States. The Millard F. Field Building, located at Winchester Avenue and 17th Street in downtown Ashland, Kentucky, was home to the Field Department Store and Sears.

"So things like, has it been declared unfit for human habitation? We look at the exterior condition of the property, if the property has been targeted with graffiti or if it's being accessed illegally. When we make a determination to say that a property has to be demolished, that needs to be proportionate to the totality of the offense," he said.

Pleckaitis said the house in Bankview is an example of what's happening in many established neighbourhoods.  He points out some in other areas of Calgary have been sitting idle longer than the Bankview home.

He said the economy was better when investors and developers bought up lots of old properties, with intentions of redevelopment.

The economy turned and many couldn't afford to continue with their real estate plans. 

Glut of old homes a growing concern

Pleckaitis said the city knows the glut of old houses is a growing concern.

"We do have a program in the city called the Community Response Team which we have recently just kind of relaunched. So we have support from the Calgary Police Service, Community Standards, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Building Services, so we have really adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to try and overcome the multitude of problems that can arise from these locations," he said.

Pleckaitis said the city is working on solutions. Ideas include the possibility of a different taxation stream for landlords who abandon properties.

Tom Campbell has his own idea. He and Gillick plan to push the city to enact a bylaw that would limit how long a house can sit before the owners must begin re-construction or de-construction.

"I pay $3,600 a year in property taxes and nobody should have to look at this view," said Campbell

Home for Colored Children inquiry releases final report into abuse at orphanage .
HALIFAX — An inquiry into decades of abuse at a Nova Scotia orphanage for black children is expected to submit its final report today. For the past four years, the unusual restorative inquiry has been exploring what happened at the infamous Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children in Halifax. Its report will recount the grim experiences of former residents and recommend ways to deal with systemic racism throughout the province. Opened in 1921 andFor the past four years, the unusual restorative inquiry has been exploring what happened at the infamous Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children in Halifax.

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