Island Health steps in over mold, roaches, rats at Duncan apartment building

An apartment building in Duncan has drawn the attention of Island Health.

An apartment building in Duncan has drawn the attention of Island Health.

The health authority has taken issue with conditions in the building, known as Parkland Place and located at 620 Dobson Rd., related to health concerns and has ordered they be dealt with before normal operations can continue at the facility.

Dr. Paul Hasselback, the medical health officer for central Vancouver Island, said the building has a number of issues that are considered hazardous to health, including excessive mold, and rat and cockroach infestations.

He said officials from Island Health have been in contact with the owner and property manager of the building, which has more than 100 units, to explain what must be done to deal to bring the facility up to health standards.

Hasselback said Island Health has ordered a number of currently unoccupied units at Parkland Place not be rented until the issues are dealt with, and any units that become vacant before then must not be rented either.

Parkland’s owner Fred Kranz and property manager Arthur Corrigan acknowledged the problems and said they are working with Island Health to fix them, and most of the issues should be dealt with by January.

Hasselback said Island Health has the authority to shut the apartment building down under the Public Health Act if it’s determined that living conditions there are hazardous to people’s health.

“But putting people on the streets can also be detrimental to their health,” he said.

“We’re currently not allowing Parkland to rent vacant units until these problems are corrected, and we’ll see what happens as we move forward.”

Kranz said he and his staff are working hard to bring the building up to compliance with Island Health.

But he said some of the tenants are responsible for a number of the issues.

“Some of them are just not good housekeepers, and that can be responsible for things like cockroaches,” he said.

“It’s difficult at times to deal with some people. My property manager [Corrigan] has been mostly dealing with the issues and the health authorities.”

Corrigan said the mold problem is related to a leaking roof on the building and that is currently being fixed.

He said a pest-control company has been hired to deal with the rat and cockroach problems.

“As with most buildings in the area, we have some rats and we’re working to get rid of them,” Corrigan said.

“We also have cockroaches, but that’s likely because we have some hoarders in the building and many tenants get their mattresses [second hand], so some of the cockroaches are a result of that. We’re hoping to have these issues dealt with by January.”

Corrigan said he’s been in contact with officials at Island Health every three days since the health authority first raised the issues, keeping them up-to-date with the ongoing efforts to deal with them, and will keep in close contact with the authorities until the work is complete.