Residents voice concerns about less-than-ideal living conditions

The building is owned by the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society.

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When the plumber they hired came to fix it, Gordon says they spilled while carrying the waste to the bathroom and now his carpet chronically smells. He’s also not the only resident with sewer problems.

“I notice it at least once a week the smell, a real strong smell,” Irene Sandau said. “It’s gotta be coming from the vents.”

Irene has lived there for five and a half years. Besides the sewage smell, she and Gordon are also concerned about the heat in the building.

“When we had that cold spell, there was hardly any heat coming out of them registers,” Irene said. “We had heaters, we had our ovens going.”

Residents voice concerns about less-than-ideal living conditions

Robin Miller with Medicine Hat Community Housing says issues with heating are something they always respond to, even after hours.

But Irene also wonders about the air quality in the building. A paper towel left on her vent for a few days was left looking brown.

Paper towel left on Irene’s vent (photo courtesy Teagan Rasche)

Irene says a caretaker has come and cleaned them.

“He said every six months we have to vacuum ourselves,” Irene said. “You got seniors in this building, they have to get on a ladder and vacuum? That doesn’t make no sense.”

The last few years have been especially challenging for Medicine Hat Community Housing with resources stretched thin. But they will still do everything they can to help their tenants.

“If we’ve got folks who are not feeling like an issue is been resolved, that they should definitely be reaching out to talk to us about it because we will do what we can to resolve it,” Miller said.

For Gordon, he sees a two-part resolution. First, linoleum flooring for cleaning up future sewage spills. Second, “I’d like to have my stove pulled out to see if any of that sewer water went underneath the stove,” he said.