Dozens of Erin Woods residents say they’re thrilled after a nearby flop house was evicted Thursday. So thrilled, in fact, that dozens brought plywood, tools and new locks to make sure the home stays empty.
The trailer, which is located along Erin Woods Circle SE, had multiple complaints to police and Alberta Health Services (AHS) lodged against it over a two year span.
Neighbors say the owner — who did not live on the property — was renting out to a man who falsely claimed he’d fix up the property.
Instead, community members say, he did the opposite.
Most call it a magnet for drug use and prostitution.
“There were more than 30 people staying there at one time,” Heather Jensen told CTV News. “(Neighbors) have had their sheds broken in to, they’ve had their homes tried to be broken in to while they were at home, they’ve had cars broken in to, their license plates missing. Gas has been siphoned out of their places.”
“There’s someone in our yards every night,” Penny Levy added. “We find needles all over the place (and we’re) afraid to let our kids play in the park.”
AHS reports mention active sewer backups, no water or electricity, damaged walls and missing floorboards, among other infractions.
It was ordered evicted in July, but those inside received two extensions.
On Thursday, it was cleared out by municipal and provincial officers.
And the move attracted a crowd.
About two dozen people watched the inhabitants gather their belongings and clear out. They’ve been directed to go to one of Calgary’s shelters.
“We’ve tried to help them,” Levy said. “I handed them out bags of goodies with toothbrushes and snacks and flyers on (which shelters) to go to. They didn’t go.”
“We just got tired of having people afraid to live in their own homes and being forced to stay indoors because these people were here,” Jensen added. “(Neighbors) have been under siege for so long, so it’s a good day.”
The home was the eighth ordered evicted by AHS in 2022 because of poor living conditions.
It now cannot be inhabited until work is done to clean it up. Thirteen repairs or changes need to be made, including new toilets and sinks, new electrical work and fixed flooring and siding.
He’s believed the owner will eventually be putting the home up for sale.