LMHC shuts down playgrounds at family housing due to safety concerns

Children at a number of London & Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) run apartments have been barred from using the on-site playgrounds.

The housing corporation says they are working on a plan to repair six playgrounds

A boarded up playground at an LMHC family focused townhouse complex on Southdale Road in London, Ont. (LMHC)

Children at a number of London & Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) run townhouse complexes have been barred from using the on-site playgrounds.

The decision comes after a recent report on the safety requirements and current state of playground equipment at the LMHC's family focused locations in London.

"Our stated values are to show care to our tenants, and it is our duty to provide safe facilities. We cannot ignore this report and simply carry on, but we share in the frustration of our tenants," said LMHC CEO Josh Browne in a news release.

The playground closures will affect over 750 families across 6 complexes. The estimated cost of the repairs and updates is at least $500,000.

"It is such a bad time with the beginning of summer," said Anna Hopkins, city councillor and LMHC board member.

"A lot of families don't have the opportunities to go to camps and having playground equipment in our facilities is really important, and I'm really disappointed that we have to do this."

The LMHC has been struggling with funding needs in recent years to keep their buildings up to code and provide safe housing for residents.

"It's really, really important that we find the money and we fix this right now," said Hopkins.

"I don't know how we're going to do that, but I'm going to hope that the City of London is going to be open to seeing the need in our communities." 

The housing corporation says it is now working on a plan to rectify the situation. LMHC staff are reaching out to local community resources in hopes of working together to offer tenants alternative summer activities.