It isn't the first time the Mandy Avenue home has been an issue for council, or the fire department, but now it's officially a nuisance.
Council has declared a home in the 6900-block of Mandy Avenue a nuisance. The city says it poses a "significant threat" to the safety of the property owner because of accumulated debris inside and outside the home, according to a staff report.
After first rescuing the property owner in January after he was trapped under debris, the fire department was again called to the home on July 2. The owner was reportedly trapped in the home, under debris. Four units and 12 personnel responded and remained on the scene for more than an hour-and-a-half.
"Similar to the original incident, the responding crews were met with a large amount of materials and debris, which complicated the rescue and raised concerns for their own safety," said Denise Jorgenson, the City of Burnaby's director of finance, in her report to council.
At council's Feb. 4 meeting, staff were authorized to undertake a cleanup of the property's exterior at the owner's expense, which cost $12,500.
It took seven city staffers (labourers, foremen, property use coordinators and a carpenter) and one contract employee, an excavator and three dump trucks to complete the exterior cleanup of the residence and garage.
Coun. Nick Volkow said the hoarding issue is becoming endemic and asked if the city could respond more quickly, at the July 22 meeting.
Volkow asked if Metro Vancouver has any tools to fully deal with hoarding problems in a more timely manner, as it's more about the person living inside the house than the house itself.
Mayor Derek Corrigan said people in this situation often need outside assistance, beyond what the city can provide.
"Our powers to deliver that assistance are pretty limited for the city, but we do our best to try to put people who are in this situation in touch with people who can give them assistance," he said.
Corrigan said hoarding is a problem that seems to be occurring more often, or it's getting a lot more attention. He said he's also concerned about putting staff at risk in this situation.
Coun. Dan Johnston said the property owner's health and safety are at risk and that Fraser Health and the province need to address the issue.
Bob Moncur, city manager, said he would talk to Metro Vancouver to find contacts within the Ministry of Health that staff can call.
Council also approved the staff recommendation that requires the property owner on Mandy Avenue remove the accumulated debris inside the home within 30 days of being notified.
If the 30-day deadline comes and goes, council will get involved, and any costs incurred will have to be paid by the property owner.
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