Residents being evicted from a two-year-old housing project, originally built to address homelessness, will be getting some financial relief from the Government of Saskatchewan.
Residents being forced out were told as recently as Tuesday morning that costs associated with the move would be deducted from their assistance checks.
“They're not going to cover our expenses. It's up to us to do it on our own, cover our expenses and since we're moving out we can't take the furniture with us that they have. So for me I won't have that," said Thomas Pizzey, a resident being evicted from the building.
The government said the problems go beyond leaking toilets, and it is actually a design flaw in the structure forcing eviction of everyone on the top floor.
The 40-unit housing project is privately owned and was constructed with the help of nearly $3 million in government grants. The apartment complex provides a supportive living environment for people with mental health issues.
The NDP felt it was rather callous to turn out a dozen residents and have them foot the bills associated with move out costs.
"The minister not only needs to be at ribbon cutting ceremonies. He also needs to be there when people are put in these tough situations," said NDP MLA Nicole Rancourt.
The Paul Merriman, the Social Services Minister went to the building on Tuesday afternoon and took decisive action to assist the displaced residents.
"Financially social services will make certain that they are kept whole and Phoenix Residential will make certain that if there are any costs during the transition that they will take care of that," said Merriman.
The government does not know if the design flaw runs through all four floors of the building. If it does, it could result in more residents having to leave, but for now the landlord is going to repair the top floor and see where things go from there.