Crime Free Multi-Housing program celebrates 300th property certification
Program keeping illegal activity out of multi-family properties for 15 years
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has certified the 300th multi-family property in its Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) program that helps keep illegal activity out and residents safe.
E’Scapes Condominiums is the 300th CFMH certified property in Edmonton
The milestone comes 15 years after the EPS launched the program in Edmonton, which became the first city in Alberta to participate in the accredited North American safety program. The CFMH program is now coordinated in partnership with the City of Edmonton Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board (LTAB).
“The program’s longevity and success are due in large part to the cooperation and support of the property managers and residents,” says EPS Acting Sgt. Amanda Trenchard. “At one time, it was police going it alone and trying to control crime at problem properties, now it’s the reverse where landlords and tenants are taking ownership and not tolerating criminal behaviour. Quite literally, we’re now able to get in on the ground floor and that’s making all the difference.”
When illegitimate users or other destructive residents operate out of a multi-family property, landlords and tenants can pay a high price, and neighbourhoods can suffer as well. Typically, there is an increase in property and violent crimes, along with increased fear and frustration.
The goal of the Crime Free Multi-Housing program is to introduce crime prevention techniques to multi-housing properties to reduce the likelihood of criminal activity. This is achieved by training building managers to create crime-free buildings, conducting a security audit of the building, and offering residents a safety social event so they can learn ways to look out for one another and create a sense of community within their multi-family property.
The CFMH program has fostered positive relationships between property managers, residents and police, empowered individuals to take action in their community, created safer environments, and reduced the number of crimes reported.
The EPS did a comparison of the calls for service to two neighbouring multi-family rental properties in the area of 118 Avenue and 89 Street, where one property has participated in the CFMH program since 2010, and the other property has never participated. Between September 2010 and June 2016, police were dispatched 60 times to the non-participating property, while police were only dispatched 10 times to the CFMH property. More significantly, there were no reports of violence at the CFMH property.
One property manager who has participated in the program for over 10 years comments, “I find that residents feel more secure, and as a manager, I know that I will not be dealing with any individuals that are drug impaired or have gang connections. Should a problem arise, I have the support of the Edmonton Police Service.”
The program also helps to identify civil processes under the Residential Tenancies Act that can be used to reduce crime or other nuisance activity. These processes include applicant pre-screening, residential tenancy addendum agreements, mediation services, and offering training and educational resources.
“The Crime Free Multi-Housing program has been of great benefit to all involved, and has helped to improve the relationship between landlords and tenants,” says Judy Downey, Supervisor of the Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board. “It meets our mutual goals of having safe, appropriate and affordable housing in Edmonton, but more importantly, it provides peace of mind and quality of life.”
For more information on the CFMH program, or if you are interested in having your property participate in the program, please visit www.edmontonpolice.ca/crimefree.