Winnipeg homeowners worry houses could be demolished
City accuses Hollywood Homes of altering construction plans
Two sets of Winnipeg homeowners are worried their houses may be demolished due to a dispute between the city and the company that built their homes.
The City of Winnipeg says Hollywood Homes falsified information on its building permit applications for several houses, including the home that Leanne and Colton Lemieux purchased in April 2012.
The couple recently received a letter from the city that says the builder had "doctored" blueprints for their home and two others.
The company now has to apply for new building permits, or the homes could be demolished.
"We're still very confused about what we have to do next," Leanne Lemieux told CBC News on Wednesday.
"We've been in the house now for six months, and to get a stop-work order on the house you think is finished was very shocking."
Not up to code
Arnel Mercado received the same letter regarding his house, which he bought from Hollywood Homes last year.
Mercado said in November, he applied for a building permit so he could finish the basement.
That was when the city discovered that the house construction did not follow the rules. Mercado said the building is not up to code.
In its letter to Mercado, the city said the original construction plans for his house had been deliberately altered.
The letter ordered Mercado to stop his renovations and told him he could either obtain a new permit for the construction of the house, or get a permit to demolish it.
The blueprints for the houses carry the engineering stamp of Les Frovich. He told CBC News he did stamp those blueprints, but not for the houses in question.
Frovich said he had nothing to do with those houses, adding that the dates on the blueprints were altered.
Hollywood Homes claims it did not alter the blueprints, but bought them directly from a city building inspector who was working on the side.
A lawyer for the company said the affected homeowners will be OK once the facts in the case are laid out.
The city says it cannot comment on specific details related to the case, as an investigation is underway.
"Given what the city understands to be the circumstances, at this point, we have every reason to believe it will be possible to ensure that these properties will be brought into compliance with applicable building code and regulations," a spokesperson said in an email late Wednesday.