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'We're all fed up': Saskatoon neighbourhood resident wants boarded up houses dealt with

A resident living off of Idylwyld Drive near 33rd Street is wondering why a growing assortment of unsightly properties in her area are not being dealt with.

Jana Thayer has lived on Aberdeen Place for 11 years, and with a growing number of boarded up houses nearby on adjacent streets like Stanley and Minto Place, she’s seeing an increase in activity that’s making it harder to feel safe in her own backyard.

Thayer works hard to upkeep her yard with a vegetable garden and flowers while she watches properties around her become abandoned or fall into disrepair.

“You can almost ask anybody in this neighbourhood, we’re all fed up with it, we pay really good taxes,” Thayer told CTV News.

“A golf ball came flying through our yard, bounced off our tree and had I been out there gardening, it would’ve hit me in the head,” she says.

That was this past weekend. She says she once had people standing on her fence trying to get in.

“They proceed to do criminal activity and proceed to enter into private property and then we are the ones who get nailed for it because nobody does anything about it,” according to Thayer.

It wasn’t always like this she says, and equates the increase in negative activity to the number of houses that have been boarded up.

“It’s like it brings in the drugs and I get it that there’s homelessness in the city, but let’s try to help these people,” she says.

Homelessness is on the minds of city officials when dealing with properties that can be utilized if repairs are done. This happens when they work with the landlords.

“The fire department doesn’t seek out a demolition unless they have to. What we want to do is restore building stock that is habitable so people can live in it, so we don’t create homelessness,” Yvonne Raymer, assistant fire chief told CTV News.

In the case of the houses off of Idylwyld, Raymer adds, there is a chance they can be repaired and restored. The cases are currently in the courts.

Raymer admits this area has seen an increase in the number of problem houses which mirrors a city-wide issue.

“Right now we have 108 of these houses, so that’s a 30 per cent increase since January which we believe is the fallout of a property management company,” she says.

Raymer assures the properties are not being ignored and are closely monitored.

In some cases, home owners live out of province making it a more complex process to rectify quickly.

Thayer does see the solutions as being fairly simple.

“I think the city should knock the houses down and make it a commercial area or there needs to be more police patrolling in the area.” Top Stories

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