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Residents of MacDonald Lofts given 1 year to relocate after ICE District buys property

Click to play video: 'MacDonald Lofts residents given 1 year to relocate' MacDonald Lofts residents given 1 year to relocate
WATCH ABOVE: The notices have gone out to residents of MacDonald Lofts. Some of the city's most vulnerable now have one year to find a new home. Vinesh Pratap reports – Apr 10, 2017

Residents of MacDonald Lofts were served notice Monday that they have one year to move out of the social housing building in downtown Edmonton.

ICE District Joint Venture, which is part of the Katz Group, says it will help people living in the building relocate.

A relocation notice was given to residents of the 87-unit apartment building Monday. The notice gives them one full year (365 days) to find alternative housing.

MacDonald Lofts, in the area of 101 Street and 105 Avenue, is a subsidized housing unit. Most of the people who live in the 1912 MacDonald Lofts building collect some sort of social assistance.

READ MORE: MacDonald Lofts hit with 377 charges under Alberta’s Public Health Act 

In August, an Alberta Health Services inspection found six suites had extensive cockroach and bedbug infestations. The suites were deemed unfit for human habitation.

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AHS ordered pest control, minor maintenance and repairs. Deficiencies included slow-draining sinks, loose electrical outlets and non-working smoke alarms in several units.

READ MORE: Bedbugs, cockroaches and feces: Edmonton apartments ‘unfit for human habitation’ 

In October, AHS issued closure notices for seven suites in the building, citing wet, damaged floors and mould growth.

In January, the property was hit with 377 charges under Alberta’s Public Health Act for failing to comply with the health orders issued.

READ MORE: Downtown Edmonton MacDonald Lofts to become property of Ice District

ICE District Joint Venture entered into an agreement to buy the 87-unit apartment, which is a designated historic site and cannot be torn down, and officially acquired the property in late 2016.

An inspection of the building has confirmed its condition is detrimental to the health and safety of residents.

ICE District Joint Venture will work with the Alberta government and Homeward Trust to support as many residents as required until every resident is re-housed.

An office has been set up on the main floor of the MacDonald Lofts building. During the relocation process, residents will receive a relocation package that will include a furniture package, cleaning of personal effects, return or transfer of damage deposit, provision of bare essentials and transportation to new premises.

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The company has not yet said what it plans to do with the property, which sits across from Rogers Place.

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