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This article was published 27/5/2016 (1338 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Seven months after being handed eviction notices, all 27 tenants of Minnedosa’s Townview Manor have found new places to live. However, some family members are wondering why the Manitoba Housing refurbishment project hasn’t gone to tender yet.
"I’m a little annoyed that they moved them out and they don’t even have a contractor — there is nothing even in sight of starting," said Kerrie Dyck, whose 93-year-old mother-in-law Mary had to be relocated. "If this place is going to sit empty all summer, they could’ve at least enjoyed their summer there."
In December of last year, Manitoba Housing told the residents of Townview — most of whom are senior citizens — that they had to be out of their suites by May 31 to allow for a "deep refresh" of the building.
In January, Manitoba Housing told The Sun that the construction contract would be tendered in the coming months and work was set to begin in June 2016, as soon as residents were out. Now, it appears those plans have changed.
"Within the next couple weeks the project is going to go to tender with an anticipated start date in September 2016," Manitoba Housing’s acting executive director of property services John Snezyk said on Thursday.
Snezyk couldn’t provide a definite answer as to why the project has been delayed.
After news of the eviction, many Townview residents were worried they would be forced to leave Minnedosa because of the town’s low vacancy rate. According to Snezyk, their fears ended up being the reality for most.
"Twenty four tenants have been relocated to other Manitoba Housing facilities in other communities and three have found alternate housing within the town," Snezyk said.
Marie Anne Saler moved from Townview into a one-bedroom unit in Winnipeg House — a Manitoba Housing complex on 15th Street in Brandon — at the end of April. Saler says that while her new suite is considerably larger, the move has also been considerably stressful.
"I’ve been independent my whole life," Saler said. "I never had to go to the food bank, but this past month I did ... because of not being reimbursed the money that I had to put out."
While Manitoba Housing has agreed to reimburse all of the tenants with moving expenses, Saler says she was told she would have to wait six to eight weeks to receive a cheque for the $230 she spent transferring mail and internet services to her new address.
"That’s a significant amount of money for someone on a fixed income," Saler’s daughter Adele Eamer said over the phone from her home in New Brunswick. "It’s the incidentals that add up."
As a result of the move, and an upcoming knee surgery, Saler had to quit a part time job she held in Minnedosa. The 70-year-old had to jump through a few hoops before Manitoba Housing agreed to lower her rent in light of her lost income.
"I asked them to try and reassess my rent because with not being able to work, my income was going down considerably," she said. "Finally I had to get a hold of Leanne Rowat (the former Progressive Conservative MLA for Riding Mountain) and she contacted the minister in charge of housing and they assessed my rent and it’s down to about half of what it had been."
Townview Manor is located in downtown Minnedosa and was built in the 1970s. The
56-unit complex is set to undergo extensive sewer, plumbing and electrical upgrades as well as kitchen, washroom and living space improvements.
When the work is finished, Snezyk says former residents of the will get first priority.
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