'I'm scared to be homeless': Residents upset after receiving notices to vacate Saskatoon building 'infested with cockroaches'

Residents are not happy after receiving a notice on Monday to vacate 820 20th Street within 60 days due to renovations and repairs being completed in the rental units.

Loretta Ledoux has been living in the building for a year and says there are broken windows, cockroaches, broken security cameras, needles in the hallway and other unsafe living conditions.

“We’re putting ourselves at risk. For what? To be told ‘don’t take it personally’? That’s what the landlord told me today.”

She and her partner Barry Crockett say they’ve been putting in effort daily to clean up the hallways, pick up needles, pick up garbage and other tasks to upkeep the building.

Crockett says they began to cleaning process six months ago.

Ledoux says she gets 10 hours of sleep a week as people are “always” trying to break in and people who don’t live in the building sleep in the hallways.

“I just want us to have another home, to feel better, to feel safe because I’m medically sick. I’m supposed to start my treatment … I’m scared to be homeless, what’s going to happen to me if I become homeless,” Ledoux told CTV News.

Regardless of the conditions, she doesn’t think the building should be shut down.

The building’s owner, Stewart Properties, said in a statement it acquired the building just over 10 years ago and renovated the suites to provide quality, affordable housing in the area.

“Over the past couple of years, the building has fallen prey to various individuals taking advantage of the building and has once again become a problematic building.

“The building continues to be vandalized and even nightly security has been employed to try and assist in the problems. We, in consultation with the City Police, have agreed the only remaining solution is to vacate the building.

“We have given the current residents 60 days' notice to give ample time to find new housing alternatives. We feel with the direction the building is currently going we would like to take initiative before the City of Saskatoon intervenes any further and shuts the building down.”

David Fineday is another resident at 820 20th Street and says being blind, he needs extra help.

“What am I gonna do now? Where do I go? When I move out, is anybody gonna take my stuff? Because this place is infested with cockroaches ... you can’t even make yourself a meal when there’s cockroaches crawling all around like that.”

While he isn’t happy with the living conditions, Fineday says the notice makes him feel “awful.”

In an email to CTV News, Saskatoon police said they have responded to the building “many times in the recent years as a result of calls for service and concerns raised by both members of the public and residents of the dwelling units.”

The Saskatoon Fire Department said it has not attended any major incidents there and has not issued any order to remedy or building closure order.