After a year-and-a-half of waiting, residents of 844 Goldstream Ave. finally received good news about when they may be able to return to their homes.
The condo building was declared uninhabitable after a fire on Oct. 8 2020, with the subsequent water damage rendering the building’s safety and security systems non-functional and all but nine of the 48 units requiring gutting.
Since then, a dispute over the estimated cost of doing the electrical work has been ongoing between five insurance companies and the contractors hired to do the repairs.
But that dispute has come to an end, with the insurance companies agreeing to pay the amount the contractors outlined on Tuesday, according to David Westley, president of the EvoWest Strata Council. He added a change order document was being arranged by the contracting company that could see construction work start as soon as next week.
While the dispute has been happening, residents have been left in the lurch.
Westley said unit owners have had many costs to cover while the building has been unhabitable, including basic hydro costs and property taxes, mortgages, storage of belongings, plus the cost of finding somewhere else to live. Some had insurance to cover those costs, but some didn’t and some people’s plans have run out.
That was the case for Doug and Tina Lloyd, who said they have been struggling to make the mortgage payments without the rental income they got from renting out the unit. Their insurance coverage ran out six months ago.
“It’s frustrating, because other buildings have been constructed in the time we’ve been waiting for repairs,” Doug said.
They noted they were luckier than some owners, as their unit was an income property. But some other residents they know had to move into hotels or scramble to find other places to live.
“It’s dire straits for everybody.”
Having experienced this ordeal, the Lloyds encourage people to take out property insurance that covers two years minimum.
Westley said there’s no timeline yet for when repairs will be completed, but more information should be coming next week.