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Poor conditions could be contributing factor to vacancy rate of government-owned housing

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The condition of government-owned housing was debated in the Saskatchewan Legislature on Monday. A Saskatoon woman told MLAs about her ongoing rodent problem in her apartment. The NDP blamed poor building maintenance for the high public housing vacancy rate in the province.

Dominika Kosowska is so fed up with mice in her government-owned apartment building that she came to the legislature to lobby for a solution.

“The moment I leave this apartment, somebody else will be put in this apartment. The moment I seal and plug the holes, mice will just migrate to other apartments,” Kosowska said.

Mice have chewed 16 holes in her apartment walls. She caught four rodents in her unit this fall as exterminators search the building for more. The NDP blames the poor conditions of some government housing units.

“You know the 3000 vacant public housing units in the province, one of which recently exploded, this is an issue we are hearing needs addressing by this government,” NDP leader Carla Beck said.

The government has 700 housing units in Regina that sit vacant and hundreds more across the province. The condition of some buildings could be a contributing factor.

“I would say that if I keep pushing for the unit to be well maintained it is, but it really takes a lot of knocking on the door and sending emails and calling and often going to the office to ask please,” Kosowska said. “I’ve addressed this, I sent that email and I left a voice message that still has not been answered.”

The Saskatoon woman eventually had a private meeting with the Minister of Social Services as the government looks for a way to clear rodents out of her building and more importantly, determine how they are getting in from the outside.

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