Eight Saskatoon families are being asked to voluntarily leave their homes because of concerns about slope failure in the area.

Officials from the city said the homes affected are along 11th Street East. Notices were being issued Friday afternoon.

Murray Totland, Saskatoon's city manager, called the shifting soil a public safety concern.

The city said increased movement was noted recently in the slope between 11th Street East and Saskatchewan Crescent East.

"We consider [the movement] alarming," Mike Gutek, Saskatoon's manager of infrastructure, said Friday. "Last year we were talking about the slope moving in terms of millimetres per day. We're now talking about the slope moving centimetres per day."

The residents most affected by the slope failure have been kept informed, Gutek said, and more meetings — for all residents in the area — were set for next week.

Meeting for residents set for Westminster Church on the corner of Eastlake Avenue and 10th Street, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. 

Saskatoon has been evaluating the condition of the slope with a consulting engineer. Homeowners were also being advised to get their own advice.

Gutek said the people being asked to evacuate their homes should check with an engineer before returning.

The city's fire department was asking affected residents to register with them, so they can account for people.

A command bus will also be set up in the neighbourhood.

The city said mandatory evacuations could yet be issued.

The shifting ground has been a concern for over a year, most recently in the spring.

Monitoring this week revealed what the city called a serious increase in the rate of movement of the earth.

They said addressing the issue would not be easy and residents could be out of their homes for months.