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Re-entry for Kensington Manor residents plagued by delays and frustration
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:56AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 6, 2017 7:02PM MST
Residents of a northwest Calgary apartment building that was evacuated two weeks ago after it was deemed unsafe were allowed back in on Wednesday to collect some of their belongings.
An engineer hired by the property management company discovered serious issues with Kensington Manor, located at 321 10th Street N.W., during an inspection.
People who live there were given just an hour to get out after it was determined that there was an 'imminent' risk that the building could collapse.
Crews have been working to shore up the building's foundation since it was evacuated on November 24.
Some residents gathered at the building at about 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, expecting to be allowed inside, but they were turned away.
“It had been scheduled by a property manager for 6:00 a.m. but due to some complications in regards to the shoring, it was delayed until 11:30,” said Wayne Brown, Coordinator of the city’s Safety Response Unit. “The delay was the professional engineer working with the contractor. Once he was okay with the setup, as far as shoring was concerned, then the safety code officer accepted that and then the tenants were allowed to go in and begin to remove their contents.”
The city approved a temporary re-entry order at 11:30 a.m. and the property owner worked with tenants to give them access to their units.
“The confusing part is, like, why is it taking so long? And I’ve gotten some answers on that, apparently they were told last night that the building would be good and when they got here this morning at 5:00 a.m. they were informed, no, that wasn’t actually the case,” said resident Kevin Halsted.
Halsten says the management company helped to set him up in another one of its buildings.
“We’re pretty set up. It was a little frustrating being moved in and not having stuff but they’ve actually done a really good job,” he said. “I think everybody is doing their best.”
The city says there is still a lot of work to be done and that it is looking into who originally built the structure.
“We’re able to have people enter to remove contents only, not to reoccupy and then past that we will have it reevaluated by a professional engineer,” said Brown. “We are conducting a safety codes investigation into the building and we will be going back for that information but it’s too early to tell how long that’s going to take.”
Some residents are concerned about compensation and say they were offered $250 and a 25 percent break on the rent for November, but haven't received anything so far.
They are considering filing a class-action lawsuit to pursue the management company for damages.
The city says the temporary re-entry is approved until December 13, 2017.