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Dangerous and derelict, city hall targets three houses for property standards demolition

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“Rats! Rats about this big!” Theresa Mullins described while extending her hands shoulder width apart. “We had one in the fan of our furnace recently.”

LIving next to the boarded up house at 219 Adelaide St. N. for two years has taken a toll on Mullins and her family.

She said the vacant house has become a magnet for trespassers.

IN PHOTOS: 'Dangerous and derelict'

“They've stolen my son's bike. They steal things from the yard,” Mullins explained. “We've recently had to get flood lights so we know if someone is in the yard.”

House at 219 Adelaide St. N., seen on May 16, 2024, faces demolition for property standards violations. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

City staff have recommended three derelict houses for demolitions, a next-to-last resort to motivate property owners to address ongoing property standards orders issued by municipal by-law officers.

The houses are:

  • 219 Adelaide St. N.
  • 695 Victoria St.
  • 1317 Hastings Dr.

The report reads, "Staff have undertaken several inspections, issued penalties and invoices, sent work orders and Property Standards Orders at each of these locations to try to get the buildings secured, maintained, and repaired.”

The cost of the inspections and demolition would be charged back to the property owner.

Obscured by weeds and an overgrown birch tree, the deteriorating house at 695 Victoria St. has been a blight on the neighbourhood for a long time.

House at 695 Victoria St., seen on May 16, 2024, faces demolition for property standards violations (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

“A group of people bought it. They got to mid-renovation and then something went south,” explained David Semkiw, who lives across the street. “They haven't been back since. We've lived here seven years and there have been no changes.”

According to the city, unfinished exterior siding has exposed the rear of the building to the elements.

The rear of the house is described as “completely falling apart.”

“It needs to be brought down. It's dangerous. There are no floors in it. It's open to the elements,” Semkiw added.

Among the manicured homes in the Stoneybrook Neighbourhood, 1317 Hastings Dr. stands in stark contrast.

House at 1317 Hastings Dr., seen on May 16, 2024, faces demolition for property standards violations (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

Lacking roof shingles, it also appears to have been interrupted mid-renovation.

In 2023, city staff hired a contractor to perform repairs, but further examination of the interior determined that the house is in a severe state of disrepair, so it was decided that demolition is more appropriate.

The Community and Protective Services Committee will consider a staff report about the property standards demolitions on May 21.

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