Birchwood Terrace residents to remain displaced all summer during repairs

More than 200 residents at Birchwood Terrace in Winnipeg are going to be displaced all summer as structural issues in the building continue.

It has been more than seven weeks since residents were asked to leave the apartment building, leaving many residents living in hotels.

The province has offered support and this week the displaced residents will be moving to MainStay Suites near the airport until the end of July.

“We can cook our own food, we have everything in there for us. The only thing is, our premiums are cut as of July 4,” said Debby Ross, a Birchwood resident.

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Global News Winnipeg at 6: June 24

Previously, they were given $65 for food which decreased to $34 earlier in June. However because the new accommodations have kitchens, those payments will stop.

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For Ross, the end of the payments adds more stress to an already tense situation and leaves her with a lot of uncertainty. “All I can do is take it day by day — actually, minute by minute, because who knows what’s next?” she said.

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Meanwhile, the province told Global News it is continuing to work with residents on housing solutions and has ensured no one will be out on the street.

Resident Joyce Hilborn, who has lived at the apartment building for 32 years, said the experience has been frustrating and unnerving.

“When you make a lot of moves, it disorientates you. The fear is coming back, the emotions are coming back,” she said.

Most residents were not able to pack before they were asked to leave and for Hilborn, that meant having to buy a lot of things out of pocket such as her medication and clothing.

Click to play video: 'Alarm set up near Birchwood Terrace to warn others of potential collapse'

Alarm set up near Birchwood Terrace to warn others of potential collapse

“‘The day that this happened, it was hot, after that it was cold. Hot, cold. I’ve got no warm clothes, so I had to go out and buy a few extras, that cost me,” she said.

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Global News reached out to Ladco Company Ltd., which owns the building, for comment but has not heard back.

As far as a return date, Ross said she was told by the company that residents could be returning by the end of August, depending on the state of repairs in the basement.

Ross and Hilborn said they do still intend to return to the building once it is safe to do so despite the whole ordeal.

“There is quite a few of us that are going back. That’s our home,” Ross said.

The 171-unit building was built in the 1960s and residents were ordered to evacuate at the beginning of May after the apartment was inspected and deemed unsafe due to severe deterioration to columns that support the building.

— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

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