Friday, August 12, 2011

City demolishes derelict properties at owner’s expense

Seven derelict, unsafe houses were destroyed at the homeowner’s expense recently after being identified as unfit to live in.

When a building is neglected for too long it can become unsafe, becoming a greater risk for fire.

The City, through the Municipal Government Act, is able to order owners to remediate or remove hazards associated with these properties. If the owners are unable to do so or unwilling, The City will intervene and demolish it at their expense.

A multi-agency group called the Coordinated Safety Response Team (CSRT) provides a coordinated approach to identifying and dealing with potentially unsafe properties in Calgary.

CSRT is led by The City’s building regulations authority Safety Response Unit (SRU). The SRU consolidates information about potentially unsafe sites (e.g., former marijuana grow ops; derelict properties) and determines the appropriate course of action through consultation with all CSRT members. The SRU also maintains a comprehensive file of sites reviewed, inspected and/or investigated by the CSRT, including orders, charges, recommendations and timelines for remediation.

Members of CSRT include Calgary Police Service, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (Green Team and Safe Communities & Neighbourhoods) and The City’s Animal & Bylaw Services. Other stakeholders such as The Calgary Fire Department are also consulted as appropriate.

Calgarians who have information about an unsafe or derelict house in their neighbourhood can contact CSRT at or visit

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