(Warning Strong Language)
Things are starting to look up for homeowners living in the Hillview Condominium.
The building, located in Abasand, was one of many devasted by the wildfire with only 14 of the 214 units surviving. The build has faced multiple problems including a lawsuit by the previous company hired to reconstruct the complex.
One of the owners created a video outlining the construction problems, which has gotten the attention of one famous contractor.
Hillview resident Becky Benoit tells Mix News Mike Holmes has contacted them and is currently reviewing the situation.
She says they are going to be putting some pressure on him to come up and help the rebuild.
“He’s a well-known figure in Canada and he’s also a really trusted name in construction and his goal and mandate seems to be to help people that have been the victims of shoddy workmanship, errors in construction.”
Holmes hasn’t agreed to help just yet but did say he’ll get back to them as soon as possible.
The video has also gained the attention of some in the provincial government.
Benoit notes they’ve been trying for months to get help from the Ministry of Service Alberta.
“We’ve been begging for months for someone in the government to step in.”
They’ve been asking for the province to assemble a team of professionals to review the situation, however, this request had – for the most part – been denied.
The Ministry has since reached out and has reopened dialogue with the homeowners.
“Just the fact that they’re calling us, reaching out to us, getting on the phone with us – they’re job is to protect us, they were elected to protect homeowners, they need to get boots on the ground and get it done,” added Benoit.
She says many political figures are also advocating for them including Fort McMurray – Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao and Liberal MLA David Swann.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
According to Benoit, many owners are leaning towards walking away from their mortgages.
“If we walk away, we’re essentially going to be on the hook for the entire mortgage because at the moment these properties don’t have any value and it’s CMHC who comes after you for that.”
In an email sent to Mix News, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says they’re willing to help these residents.
“CMHC is prepared to provide additional flexibility upon request by the Approved Lender. CMHC mortgage loan insurance protects lenders in the event of mortgage default by the homeowner.”
Benoit believes this is an encouraging sign.
“When we hear increase flexibility, that sounds very promising, that’s the first positive news we’ve heard from them since this whole thing started, so absolutely we’re excited to hear it.”
She adds the next step is knowing exactly what they can do to help.