City considering one year amnesty program for Winnipeg homeowners

The City of Winnipeg is proposing one year of amnesty for homeowners who have had renovations or repairs made in their homes that are not up to code.

A report from the city's public service is recommending the amnesty program, which would begin on June 1 if approved by council.

The program would allow homeowners to declare renovations, repairs, or other activities that were done in their homes without proper permits. Penalties would be waived if the owner applies for the permits needed to bring the work up to code within a certain time.

"What we are finding in some cases is some people have maybe purchased a house from somebody else, and they didn't know that all the work that maybe has been done in the house maybe wasn't up to code," Coun. Cindy Gilroy, chair of the Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development Committee told CTV News.

"So this gives them a year to kind of get that work done and make sure it is done right."

The idea was first introduced in January. The Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development Committee will vote on the motion on Monday. If it passes, Gilroy said it would still need to go through EPC and City Council.

Gilroy said she hopes the program moves forward.

"I think it is a benefit to all Winnipeggers because we want to make sure that people are living in safe housing conditions—and when work is done to code, we know that it is safe for people to live in."

She called the program a win-win as she anticipates the money made from the permits being taken out will offset the cost to pay a dedicated house inspector and plan examiner.