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'We are concerned': Vacant government owned housing units being targeted by vandals

A government owned housing unit in Regina was recently trashed after thieves tore through the walls to steal the copper pipes, resulting in $20,000 in damage.

The Saskatchewan Housing Authority manages 3,000 units in Regina and said one or two government housing units are being broken into every week.

“We are concerned about it. What we are doing right now in order to try and manage that is we hire security to do inspections,” said Louise Michaud, president of the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.

Last November, someone compromised a live gas pipeline at a government housing complex in North Central Regina. The ensuing explosion destroyed the property along with the privately owned apartment building next door.

“We don’t know if that means they were cut but we know that they were damaged and we know that there was criminal activity,” Michaud said.

Vacant units are being targeted primarily. The government budgeted $2.3 million last year to cover the cost of vandalism and wear and tear. It doesn’t know if break in alarms would help.

“You know we also have to consider the cost of doing that versus the cost of repairs but it’s certainly something that we’re considering,” Michaud said.

The government believes that the best deterrent to break and enters is housing units that are fully occupied. It hopes to attract more tenants to curb the damage losses and to improve its rental income bottom line. Top Stories

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