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City: progress being made to address Town Homes Kingston’s needs

Townhomes Kingston offices on Montreal St
Town Homes Kingston offices on Montreal St.

The City’s Service Manager has addressed the critical fire and safety issue at the Town Homes Kingston sites, according to a press release from the City of Kingston.

“We prioritized addressing health and safety issues and that’s what we’ve been working on.  We have also met with some tenants to hear their concerns and, with the help of Town Homes Kingston staff, we are now tackling a number of maintenance issues,” service manager Lanie Hurdle said in the press release sent out on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.

Hurdle took over operations of Town Homes Kingston on Monday, Jul. 23 due to regulatory and health and safety breaches. Since then, it has been learned that the organization is carrying over $200,000 in rent arrears, and that the City is considering a merger between local social housing providers.

Since Hurdle took over operations, she has worked with Kingston Fire and Rescue to approve the fire safety plans for all Town Homes Kingston Properties, and to repair fire pumps at the 205 Rideau Street and 37 Cassidy Street sites, according to the City.

Hurdle will now be working to address the 160 outstanding work orders affecting 400 Town Homes Kingston units, the City said.

“Our goal is to provide sustainable, healthy and safe social housing in Kingston and to ensure that maintenance issues are addressed quickly as possible going forward,” said Hurdle.

Update (Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at 5:45 p.m.)

The following is a statement from Sheldon Laidman, director of housing and social services for the City of Kingston regarding the outstanding work orders and the process currently being taken to address the issues in Town Homes Kingston units:

“Upon assuming management of Town Homes Kingston, the Interim Executive Director put in place by the Service Manager (the City) has identified the backlog of maintenance as one of their most important issues to address. A new tracking system has been put in place to properly document, prioritize, and ensure work orders are acted upon by the private company contracted to perform all maintenance on the Town Homes Kingston properties. This private company and Town Homes Kingston management are now meeting twice weekly to ensure this backlog of work orders is addressed and that new work orders are acted upon in an appropriate time frame based on their priority and type.

Town Homes Kingston have also undertaken a proactive approach with tenants to ensure that maintenance needs for their units, which may not have been formally documented previously in an official maintenance request, are identified, prioritized, and acted upon.  It is expected that the interim Executive Director at Town Homes Kingston will report to the Service Manager (City) on a monthly basis to document their progress with meeting an expected service standard for maintenance requests.”

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