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Occupancy exceeded: Banff, Alta., home possessed more than 40 beds


Alberta Health Services (AHS) has issued an enforcement order against a Banff home after an inspection found 42 beds and/or mattresses inside the property.

AHS released details of the home, located at 321 Squirrel Street, on its public website and said the 16 person maximum occupancy of the facility "was exceeded."

In addition, the health inspector found a variety of other issues such as holes in the walls of the home, leaking and dirty faucets in need of maintenance and a basement dwelling that did not have a window.

The enforcement order says the occupancy situation inside the home is in violation of Alberta's Minimum Housing and Health Standards.

As a result, AHS ordered the owners of the property to make changes inside the home, specifically to address the extreme number of beds.

"Remove the bed in the basement room with no window," the order reads.

"Remove additional beds/mattresses so that no more than 16 tenants are accommodated and maintain a maximum of no more than 16 tenants thereafter."


AHS made a significant error on the order – listing a mother and daughter with a very similar address as co-owners. They are not and have no connection to the affected property.

Jackie Rogers operates a bed and breakfast at a home down the road – at 312 Squirrel Street. Rogers does not own the home named in the health order but says as a result of the error in the legal document she has been contacted by customers and neighbours upset at the mistaken connection.

“The backlash from friends and clients has been overwhelming,” Rogers says. The AHS order has since been corrected. She says she would like to see a formal apology and says she’s out of pocket for legal fees to clear up the error and protect her reputation.



According to officials with the Town of Banff, the mountain community has been faced with housing challenges for decades, partially fuelled by a near-zero vacancy rate on rental accommodations.

An affordable housing complex, situated on Coyote Lane, opened in 2018 and was jointly funded by the town and the provincial government.

Karen Sorensen, who was Banff's mayor at the time, said a large proportion of the community's population is under 35 years old while its average income is below Alberta's average.

"We have a great need to accommodate people in an affordable way. We depend very much on a younger generation to operate the town," she said during the grand opening of that facility.

"They are the people who work in the tourism industry. We need to make sure that everybody’s comfortably housed."

The Town of Banff released a written statement in response to the AHS findings:

“Together with the private and non-profit sector, the Town of Banff has helped to add affordable housing options in Banff over the past several years. Just as the COVID pandemic struck, we saw the vacancy rate for rental apartments increase. So big picture, we know we’ve been able to move the needle on this top community priority.”

“However, we certainly need more affordable housing in Banff and we will continue to explore opportunities to add to the housing stock. As a community who welcomes the world, Banff is a beautiful place to live but it’s imperative that it’s also a safe and comfortable place to call home. As such, we will continue to work with the provincial agency to monitor the housing situation in Banff and to ensure landlords comply with our stringent occupancy and safety requirements.”

The town says more affordable housing units are in the works at two other sites.  

(With files from Kevin Fleming) Top Stories


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