The City of Langford is calling on moving companies and volunteers in the community to help tenants who have been temporarily displaced from the Danbrook One apartment building.
On Friday, the City temporarily revoked occupancy of the 11-storey apartment building in Langford’s downtown core after receiving a report that confirmed structural and safety concerns that could put the tenants at risk.
Tenants were “strongly advised” to relocate, according to the City, and have been offered temporary hotel accommodation paid for by Langford. The City is also offering to relocate tenants permanently to comparable apartments if they decide to move out.
In a Friday evening statement, the City of Langford put out a call to moving companies to help tenants who are moving.
“Moving companies who have services available are asked to contact City staff and note their availability,” the City said. “This is a community effort. Volunteers with vehicles are also welcome.”
A full command response centre has been set up at 780 Goldstream Ave. by City of Langford staff to help tenants coordinate temporary hotel accommodation. They were advised to pack for a minimum of seven days.
Tenants trickled through the response centre Saturday and members of the Langford Fire Department were in attendance to assist residents in their search for accommodations over the holidays.
Anne Trick, the director of the emergency support services program for the City of Langford, said many tenants were processed at the response centre Friday night. She said the City is paying for hotel accommodations for residents until Dec. 27, but she was unaware of any further plans at the time.
Trick said most of the residents have chosen to be placed in a hotel.
“It’s an emergency, so that’s always hard on people. They’re handling it very well,” Trick said.
The City has tried to put people with special dietary needs in hotels with kitchens, Trick said, but she noted most hotels don’t have kitchens. Residents have not been given a food allowance.
On Friday, The City of Langford said it received a report from the internationally recognized engineering firm WSP Global Inc. that recommends immediate installation of temporary support to the building. A summary of the report from WSP said issues with the building are related to the gravity system and the seismic force resisting system.
WSP was hired by the City of Langford after Engineering and Geoscientists BC notified the City that one of its members was being investigated for possible building code violations pertaining to the Danbrook One property.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation and we’ll worry about the blame in the new year but right now our concentration is on the residents,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young on Friday.
Trick said the community has been coming together to help the displaced Tenants.
“It’s Langford, we’re lucky,” Trick said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover out-of-pocket expenses like meals and gas. As of Saturday afternoon, the page raised just over $22,000.
Those looking to help or tenants with questions can contact City Staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 250-857-0314.