“Fire Department Closures Skyrocket in Saskatoon: What’s Behind the Trend?
Yvonne Raymer, assistant chief with the Saskatoon Fire Department, expressed concern over the increasing number of closures of buildings in the city. According to Raymer, the fire department has closed over 50 buildings this year, marking a significant surge in home closures.
Collaboration with USask on Housing Insecurity
The Saskatoon Fire Department has partnered with USask to investigate the root causes of this surge in closures. Raymer hopes that this collaboration will shed light on the reasons behind the increasing numbers and help find effective solutions.
Finding the Causes of Home Closures
Raymer highlighted various reasons that lead to building closures, such as the imminent risk of collapsing, lack of heating in the winter, and issues related to water and sewer. She emphasized that the focus is not solely on closing buildings but on working with property owners to find solutions.
Impact on Tenants
Raymer acknowledged the significant impact of building closures on tenants, often resulting in displacement for several months or even irreversible damage. She stressed the need to understand the root causes of these closures in order to prevent further displacement.
Socioeconomic Factors at Play
The assistant fire chief also pointed out the socioeconomic factors contributing to the problem, such as residents unable to afford suitable housing and the increasing number of seniors struggling to make ends meet.
Challenges Facing Vulnerable Populations
Raymer expressed concern about seniors unable to afford basic utilities, as well as individuals on income assistance living in subpar conditions. She emphasized the need for a proactive approach to address the issues faced by vulnerable populations affected by building closures.
Collaborative Efforts to Address Homelessness
Gordon Taylor, executive director of the Salvation Army in Saskatoon, highlighted the collaborative efforts to assist individuals affected by building closures. He emphasized the need for a continuum of care to help individuals transition from displacement to stable housing.
The Social Services Ministry responded by stating their commitment to working with community partners to address the basic needs of those impacted by building closures. The ministry also emphasized the provision of emergency support and long-term plans to connect individuals to stable housing.
The increasing number of building closures in Saskatoon is a multifaceted issue with far-reaching consequences for tenants and vulnerable populations. Understanding the root causes of these closures and finding effective solutions require collaboration, proactive measures, and support from government and community partners. Addressing housing insecurity is an essential step towards preventing displacement and ensuring the well-being of all residents in the city. It is crucial to work towards creating a more sustainable and inclusive housing environment to prevent further closures and displacement.”