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Since 1979 • August 2020 • Circulation 5500

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City Update on the Problem Property Initiative

Problem properties are an unfortunate reality in many cities. Problem Properties are magnets for crime and disorder and are often neglected, in disrepair, and, in some cases, unsafe. They represent a significant risk to the well-being, community safety, and vibrancy of any city. Addressing the complex issues associated with problem properties requires the participation of community, city and provincial governments, multiple agencies and the private sector. The need for a multi-pronged approach is particularly important when addressing chronic, long standing problems that adversely impact neighbours, tenants, and communities.

In response to increasing community concerns, the Problem Properties Initiative team recently spent three months reviewing its existing approach and from this, has developed new strategies and action plans to more effectively address problem properties. More than 65 actions or ideas were identified, including 11 directly from community representatives.

Since October 2019, City of Edmonton staff has met with a small group of community representatives to begin the process of better understanding individual and community concerns. Significant effort has and is being made as to how to best gather community input and ideas to effectively address problem properties. Key community concerns identified were:

  • better communications
  • easier reporting
  • ongoing public engagement
  • a meaningful role in solution development
  • a sustainable long-term strategy
  • a clear definition of what constitutes problem properties (including criteria and where to report)
  • thorough and faster enforcement of existing legislation.

The City of Edmonton’s Administration has identified six major themes that capture action plans, broader tactics and overarching strategies:

1. Enforcement strategies
2. Resource allocation
3. Administrative / process improvements
4. Data analytics
5. Enhanced communication
6. Housing development, redevelopment and improvement

While the majority of action plans are short to mid term, the development of a problem properties long-term strategy was identified by community members, partners, and City staff as a top priority. Over the next year, the Problem Properties Initiative, in collaboration with community members, City staff, stakeholders, and partners, will move forward to implement action plans and finalize a longer-term strategy.

Information from the City of Edmonton.

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