Free Press: Master’s students tackling illegal rooming houses
Residents in the Fort Richmond and University Heights neighbourhoods will be getting help from a group of master’s students on how to resolve the problems caused by illegal rooming houses and student rental homes.
Orly Linovski, an assistant professor in the city planning department at the University of Manitoba, said she believes her students can help the residents find some innovative solutions since illegal student housing has created a set of cascading problems that have been frustrating residents and eluding any resolution from city hall.
“The goals of the (program) is hopefully to get a product that is useful to the community and also have the students look at these issues in depth and aid in their education,” Linovski said.
The growing student enrolment at the U of M has created a problem for area residents, who said absentee landlords have been buying single-family homes and squeezing as many student tenants into them that they can get away with and not maintaining the properties. The residents have complained of: landlords allowing tenants to park in backyards and renting parking spots to students on front lawns and rear yards; illegally converted homes that have become fire hazards; stories of many single-family homes being converted to accommodate anywhere from six to 10 tenants.
As a first step, a neighbourhood group is being formed and volunteers are going door-to-door to compile an inventory of home ownership.