City to take action on Guy Street hoarding house

In this provided photo, furniture and other items are stacked on the porch of this four-plex on Guy Street in Conrwall, Ont. The city's chief building official says the municipality will take action on this property after being approached by Cornwall Newswatch. (Supplied via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall will be taking action on a property neighbours have had to endure for over a year on Guy Street.

A neighbour, who spoke to Cornwall Newswatch on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said the property has been in deplorable conditions and has been getting worse.

The neighbour described it as “beyond gross.”

Chief Building Official Chris Rogers was approached by Cornwall Newswatch Monday night and showed pictures of the four-plex building at 222-224 Guy Street with furniture packed on the porch.

“This would appear to involve hoarding to some degree. The property in general is in poor shape. It would appear to be that way. Hoarding it’s a challenging issue, there’s a few of them in town. It’s a form of an illness,” Rogers said.

“We’ll certainly take a look at at, put it on our hit list. So I’ll take this as a formal complaint. It will be forwarded to property standards for action,” he told CNW.

Rogers said he wasn’t aware of this particular property but knows of a few around the city that need work. He said dealing with hoarding is challenging.

“We go in. We bring it back to acceptable levels. We walk away and it deteriorates back into unacceptable levels. It becomes sort of a maintenance item. Very seldom can solve it 100 per cent quite frankly, this may be one of them,” he said.

So how will the city deal with it?

“We would probably issue an order on it. We have a Clean Yards Bylaw that strictly forbids storage of any stuff like this on a front porch. That goes to couches, living room furniture and so forth. It doesn’t look very appealing. Our yard maintenance bylaw would certainly have something to say about this,” Rogers said.

But there are problems with the building as well.

“Obviously, the building in general is in poor condition too. We have property standards issues with the building. This would be two-fold,” Rogers said.

In June, municipal leaders at the SD&G Summit in Alexandria heard about the challenges of hoarding, which is being treated as a mental illness and has turned into a generational problem locally.

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