CBC News has learned Thunder Bay Housing is phasing out the Royal Edward Arms as a social housing facility.

Thunder Bay Housing has leased the Royal Edward Arms from the city since 1985. The agreement on the May Street building expires in 2015 and won't be renewed.

The acting chief administrative officer for the district social services board, Bill Bradica, said the 64-unit building will be returned to the city.


Bill Bradica, acting chief administrative officer, District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. (CBC)

In the meantime, the apartments will gradually be vacated, and left empty.

At the Royal Edward’s current turnover rate, Bradica estimated the building will be vacant in about two years.

He stressed no one will be evicted, however.

As for the impact on social housing availability, Bradica said a 20-unit project on Victoria Avenue is in the works and Thunder Bay Housing is securing new rental agreements with private landlords.

As of January 31, 18 tenants at the Royal Edward Arms were requesting transfers to different social housing buildings, according to a district social services board report from March.

The building has been a chronic source of tenant complaints, ranging from elevator problems to bed bugs.