Processing began Thursday of applications for up to $2,000 in emergency funding from residents who had to move from their Langford apartment building last week due to safety concerns.
An online portal opened Thursday to allow former residents of RidgeView Place to apply for funds being raised through a partnership between the West Shore Developers Association and the City of Langford, which will match funds raised up to $75,000. About $27,000 has been raised so far.
The portal is at communitycouncil.ca/support.
The funds will go first to those in greatest need — households that don’t have enough to cover accommodation or food, said Diana Gibson, executive director of the Community Social Planning Council, which is distributing the funds.
Those in need could get the money as soon as Friday, Gibson said. As funding is limited, only those currently in urgent need are asked to apply. If there is anything left after urgent needs are met, it will be distributed among residents equitably, she said.
“It doesn’t go very far when you’re talking about households that are in crisis,” Gibson said.
The former Danbrook One building has twice been evacuated in four years, first in December 2019 and most recently on April 24, when an estimated 130 residents were told to leave due to seismic and structural concerns in the 11-storey building.
The evacuation followed notice by the Engineers of Geoscientists of B.C. to Langford and property owner Centurion Properties Apartment Inc. of an investigation into the engineer responsible for remediation work on the building.
Former resident Ashley MacDonald said she’s frustrated that funds are not being distributed to all residents.
“On paper, I get it. But the fact is is that we have all been scrambling, and we’re being forced out of pocket to pay for an event that was a) not our fault and b) so beyond our locus of control,” she said.
Centurion has allocated $2,500 in “compassionate assistance” to each unit of the 90-unit building following the evacuation, as well as refunding damage deposits and rent for the portion of April after tenancies ended.
Gibson said the money raised by the West Shore Developers Association and the city is public charitable funds intended to support those in immediate crisis.
“Our job isn’t to make whole a well-off household. Our job is to help households in need,” she said.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so at https://communitycouncil.ca/donate/.
A separate online fundraiser for residents has raised nearly $10,000, which will be distributed evenly among displaced residents, said Lisa Foxall, who started the fundraiser.
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