July 05, 2024


On June 10, 2024, City Council passed the Vacant and Derelict Building By-Law, to address issues related to boarded and derelict properties. These properties often pose social, health, and financial risks to the community, and they can lead to a decrease in the value of other properties in the surrounding neighbourhood. This new by-law empowers the City of Portage la Prairie to enforce and collect fees to ensure the safety and compliance of buildings within the city limits.

Vacant and derelict homes are known to create unsafe conditions for neighborhoods around them. Proactively addressing these issues will lead to safer neighborhoods and, overall, a safer city for all residents. The new by-law provides the City with the authority to take action against properties that fail to meet community standards.

“We have identified approximately 20 properties that meet the criteria for being vacant or derelict,” stated Brad Bailey, Director of Public Safety. “Our goal is always to work proactively with property owners. However, this by-law gives the City the power to fine and mitigate properties that do not meet community standards. While we prefer collaboration, we must also ensure fairness to neighborhoods by not allowing homes to fall into disrepair. It can be a timely process to address these properties, and we appreciate the community’s patience as we work behind the scenes to bring them up to standard.”

Councillor Colin Doyle, Public Safety Chair added, “Vacant properties impose several costs on the community, including an increased risk of fire and criminal activity, which incurs costs for all ratepayers. They negatively impact the property values of surrounding homes and deter others from investing in these neighborhoods. These derelict properties also contribute less in taxes due to their depreciation. The new by-law encourages compliance by providing the City with the power to incentivize owners of boarded-up properties to either rehabilitate these homes or demolish non-inhabitable structures.”

The by-law establishes a progressively increasing fee structure designed to motivate property owners to actively manage and restore their vacant homes. This initiative aligns with the priorities outlined in the City Council’s strategic plan, and aims to foster reinvestment in established neighborhoods.