Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2024 • Circulation 5000


Impactful Results of Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative

A before and after look at the cleanup of a problem property in McCauley. Marko Skendzic

Problem properties are occupied or vacant unsecured properties that have serious negative impacts on the well-being of the surrounding community, as well as the people living or working in them. They cause frequent and serious safety concerns and complaints to the City of Edmonton.

In December of 2022, City Council provided Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative (PPI) with permanent funding to implement its 2023 – 2026 long-term strategy and expand its resources to address problem properties. Since then, the new strategy has had several impactful results, including decreased fires at derelict properties, streamlined demolition of derelict buildings, and increased inspections at high risk residential properties. In 2024, a tax subclass will be introduced to triple taxes at derelict properties where owners have not taken accountability for the conditions.

Property Clean-Ups
One very visible example of the PPI’s new strategy is the increased clean up of properties that present significant, often unsecured hazards to the surrounding area. In these cases, the PPI can order the property owner to clean up the property. If the owner does not comply, the PPI can undertake the clean-up itself and hold the owner accountable for the costs incurred by the City. This process has been particularly noticeable in McCauley, where several properties destroyed by fire have recently been cleaned up by the PPI.

These clean-ups take several days and require the coordination of multiple agencies and contractors to remove an average of 120,000 pounds of debris and backfill the property with clean dirt.

PPI Meet and Greets
Another example of the PPI’s new strategy is increased communication and engagement with community members affected by problem properties.

This spring, the PPI hosted a series of Meet and Greets across north central Edmonton, to strengthen relationships with community members and increase awareness of its strategy and new resources.

Each Meet and Greet featured a presentation and question and answer session, followed by an opportunity for community members to chat directly with PPI personnel. The three events were attended by 210 people, including 157 community members from 26 neighbourhoods. Community members were invited to provide feedback about the event and the work of the PPI.

  • 94% reported that the events increased their knowledge of how the City and its partners address problem properties.
  • 88% reported that the events gave them confidence that the City has a good strategy to address problem properties.
  • 51% reported that they were beginning to see the impact of the PPI’s new teams and resources in the neighbourhood where they live or work.
  • 87% registered to receive information through a PPI newsletter.

To learn more about the Problem Property Initiative, visit

Information provided by the City of Edmonton.

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