Skip to content

AHS issues order for Banff home with 42 beds, mattresses

A Banff home has had an Alberta Health Services enforcement order issued against it after an inspection found at least 42 beds and mattresses for people to live on the property.
Town of Banff from Norquay1
The view of the Town of Banff from Mount Norquay. GREG COLGAN RMO PHOTO

BANFF – A Banff home has had an Alberta Health Services enforcement order issued against it after an inspection found at least 42 beds and mattresses for people to live on the property.

The home, found at 321 Squirrel St., had its maximum occupancy of 16 people exceeded when a “total of forth-two beds and/or mattresses were counted in the facility.”

The four-page order was issued to three owners – Hannah-Maree Wilson, Jacqueline Rogers and Gail Morgan – on Aug. 4, with it verbally being given to Morgan on July 29.

The inspection found eight violations under the Public Health Act, the Housing Regulation and Minimum Housing and Health Standards such as a person sleeping in a basement room without a window, several holes found in walls throughout the home and multiple broken items.

The AHS order directs the owners to “immediately and diligently pursue the completion” of eight requirements, specifically to not have more than 16 tenants, repair damage and clean all washrooms and kitchens.

According to the Town of Banff’s 2022 assessment roll, the home has an assessed value of $1.678 million.

The owners have until Sept. 12 to complete the order.

Banff has long had a low vacancy rate as people flock – especially seasonal workers under 40 – to live and work in Banff National Park. However, after traditionally hovering on or around zero per cent, the vacancy rate hit 1.1 per cent in 2018.

Statistics Canada’s 2021 census data had 8,305 living in the largely tourism-based community, but a large number were between 20 and 39.

That age range had 3,425 people – roughly 40 per cent of Banff's population – but of those, 1,050 were between 25 and 29.

Census data found there were 2,930 homes occupied by residents with nearly half – 1,425 – being in an apartment with five or fewer storeys. There were also 545 homes that were an apartment or a flat in a duplex, while 1,035 lived in a house with two people.

The average household size was 2.3 people, according to the census data, and the median total income of people 15 and over was $41,200 and $36,800 after taxes.

The town also has the rare need-to-reside regulation from Parks Canada that mandates a person living in Banff needs to work in the mountain community, further hampering the search for housing for many people attempting to live in Banff.

According to the housing rental rates in the spring labour market review put out bi-annually by the Job Resource Centre, the average rental rate in Banff for a one-bedroom is $1,482 and $1,848 for a two-bedroom.

A three-bedroom averages $2,553, while a studio or bachelor is $958. The rates are based on listings between Aug. 2021 to Jan. 2022 from sites such as Kijiji, Facebook listings and in the newspaper.

One of the key strategic goals of Town councils has been to increase both the vacancy rate and the number of affordable units for residents.

The Banff Housing Corporation operates as a non-profit organization to help offer residents price restricted and equity share home ownership, while it also operates the Ti-nu affordable apartment complex.

The Aster affordable housing project is continuing to be constructed and another is being planned for Cave Avenue. There are also numerous duplexes and townhouses in areas such as Sulphur Court, Middle Springs, Fairholme Place and Riverview Court.

About the Author: Greg Colgan

Greg is the editor for the Outlook.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks