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The situation at 101 Marion St

 Friday May 28, I asked the Minister of Families during Estimates, about concerns that have been raised with respect to the Manitoba Housing unit at 101 Marion St. 

My question and the Minister's response are below (from Hansard).

101 Marion St

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): To the minister, there's been a concern raised in relationship to Manitoba Housing and specifically with respect to the situation at One O One Marion. This was originally 55-plus housing, but there are increasingly younger people in the building.

      I'm informed that there are instances where younger residents are letting non-residents into the building and they are breaking into apartments, stealing property, making conditions unsafe for elderly residents; indeed, that there may be gangs and  drug dealers who've taken up residence in the building, as well as problems with cockroach infec­tions.

      Three suggestions have been put forward for the minister: (1) to triage homeless individuals to ensure that they are fit for One O One Marion and to ensure that they have the supports at One O One Marion before considering housing them there, where there are so many who are  seniors who are potentially at risk; (2) to have effective security on the premises–currently, it seems that security guards are limited in what they can do to provide security; and (3) have enhanced supports for seniors and a plan to assist with these problems of insect infestations.

Ms. Squires: I can appreciate that my friend from River Heights only has a few minutes, so I'll try to answer his question as quickly as possible.

      And I also do want to acknowledge that he's provided some solutions in his question, and I look forward to implementing his solutions and working with him on all these matters that are brought to his attention. And I appreciate whenever anybody presents potential solutions to the challenges that their constituents are facing or that they're hearing throughout the province of Manitoba.

      So in regards to the One O One Marion site, I can inform the member that we have increased nightly security from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. All residents, we have confirmed, are 55-plus, and we've recently installed new four-by-four cameras into the building.

      Now, understanding that this–there still may be challenges, I'm certainly willing and my door is always open to the member for River Heights. If he's got further issues that he's hearing about that he wants to bring to my attention, he can certainly do that at any time.

      I do just want to take a quick moment to say that we do recognize that there are security challenges in some of our Manitoba Housing units, and that is why this year we made a $4.4-million investment. It was the largest historical investment in security in one particular year ever, and we will continue to make those investments until we are able to say that all of our residents living in Manitoba housing are living in safe housing units.

      And I do want to acknowledge that we did just get the–a particular letter from the member for River Heights and are certainly investigating any instances of unauthorized visitors attending a building, and any breaches in our policy are being investigated right now. And I'll provide all that in writing for the member for River Heights.

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