May 16, 2016 2:58 pm
Updated: May 16, 2016 2:59 pm

Edmonton launches online housing registry for Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees

Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees line up outside Edmonton's Butterdome to pick up debit cards from the province, May 11, 2016.

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The City of Edmonton has launched on online housing registry in hopes of finding Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees a place to live.

The online registry allows evacuees to search for accommodations and connect with landlords. It also lets landlords post accommodation information helpful to those who have been displaced.

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“Home is essential to moving forward and we are here to help families find home again,” Greg Dewling, CEO of the Capital Region Housing Corporation, said.

“It is our hope, through this central registry, that families will find a temporary place to call home. Our thoughts and well wishes are with all of them as we work together to regain some semblance of home for the Fort McMurray fire evacuees.”

Some landlords have offered incentives to wildfire evacuees, including reduced security deposits, reduced rent, or a couple months free rent.

READ MORE: Tenant or landlord? What you need to know after the Fort McMurray wildfire

As of Monday morning, about 2,000 housing units were listed on the site. The online service will be available free of charge for the next six months, Dewling said.

It’s been nearly two weeks since more than 80,000 Fort McMurray-area residents were forced from their homes due to a wildfire that still burns out of control in the region.

Nearly 20,000 of those evacuees have come through the emergency reception centre at Northlands in central Edmonton.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Edmonton Expo Centre sees 17,000 evacuees

As of Monday morning, the wildfire in the Fort McMurray area was roughly 285,000 hectares in size and was between 10 and 12 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border.

At this time there’s no word on when residents will be allowed to return home. Premier Rachel Notley said Monday she hoped to have more information on re-entry by the end of the week.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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