Regina residents express rooming house worries at city hall

Regina City Council will determine the future of rooming houses tonight.
Regina city council held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of rooming houses in the city. Ian Zerr was there expressing his concerns. The CBC's Roxanna Woloshyn has the story. 1:39

Regina City Council will determine the future of rooming houses tonight.

Councillors are going to hear from residents one last time before they makes a decision on how the accommodations will be regulated. 

A rooming house is defined as a home that offers furnished rooms for renters. 

People living in Regina's Hillsdale and Windsor Park neighbourhoods will be presenting at City Hall about some of the problems with the housing option, such as noise and lack of parking.  

They want to see better regulations, including the number of people allowed in a rental home. 

In Windsor Park, neighbours have seen a spike in rooming houses. They say they're most concerned about a house operating as a motel on Alfred Crescent. 

"To have a hotel move in next door to me in a house is absolutely shocking," said Ian Zerr, who will also be presenting at the council meeting. 

The Windsor Home Motel is listed online for nightly and weekly stays, with rooms costing from $55 to $70 a night, or the entire house for $280 a night.

Hillsdale resident addressing Regina councillors asking for more regulations of rooming houses. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

CBC News contacted the owner running the motel, who is listed online as a Re-Max Realtor, but he refused to comment. 

Mayor Michael Fougere said rooming houses are a necessity for the city. 

"The city is not going to decide who is in there," said Fougere. "The issue for us is the public safety in the community." 

That is something Zerr said is a problem in Windsor Park. 

"I myself have two children, and I have to look out for their safety and I don't feel I can do that," he said. 

Other residents at the meeting said they want council to put a limit on the number of people allowed to live at a rooming house. 

But council members said that municipal government has no place to tell property owners how to rent their homes. 

The also said rooming houses fill an important need in a tight and sometimes unaffordable housing market. 

 As for the motel, Fougere said the file still needs to be reviewed to determine if it's operating legally.

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