Earlier this year, a fire destroyed part of a villa that had been holding senior residents in the community of Carievale.

The Carrie-Villa, as it was called, had six residents who all had to relocate following the damage.

Now, they've received word from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation that the villa will not be repaired or rebuilt.

That means those who were staying in the villa have had to find new places to stay. While some found places in Carievale, others became spread out amongst communities.

They also no longer have access to their common room, which was a place for those in the villa and the nearby fourplex to gather.

The villa

Rhonda Halliday, whose mother is one of those former tenants being affected, says the decision was dropped on them with no discussion.

"Not one word was sent out to these people from the SHC until they finally reached out to a select few in our community, it would've been on the 24th of May, it came out on the 25th at 5 PM which is a horrible time for a farming community or any working-class family and they said "you're done. We're not fixing, we're not repairing." and they basically said that it's off the table, there's no discussion.

Halliday, along with others, has been reaching out to other government figures hoping to get that decision overturned, such as Scott Moe and local MLA Daryl Harrison.

"We're pleading with the government to help us with this. Like Lori Carr, I've e-mailed her many times, I did get a generic letter back but that's it. Same with Scott Moe, he said that he'd send it on to social services. Daryl Harrison certainly has called back and answered my questions and been as much help as he can but I think he's hitting walls as well. It's just been very disheartening."  

As well, some residents had claimed items for insurance purposes that they no longer need in their new homes. Halliday gives the example of her mother claiming an air conditioner from insurance, which they don't need in their current home and will now have to be sold off.

While some residents were able to stay with family, and one was able to end up moving into the fourplex, the lack of bonding between those residents has had an effect on their mental health.

"Mental health of all of them scares me to death. I've seen my mom's health decline so badly in the last four months, and she's staying with us. There was no other alternative," said Halliday, "She can't afford to rent another house and keep it, it's just a bad situation."

Halliday says while they do have physical petitions in some southeast communities, they're currently looking at a way to get that petition online.

Roger Parenteau, Executive Director of Housing Operations with Saskatchewan Housing Corporation reached out to us with a statement:

“Last week, Saskatchewan Housing Corporation met with community representatives from Carievale to provide them with options on the future state of Cari-Villa, a 14 unit social housing building for low-income seniors (55+) who can live independently that sustained severe fire damage this last January."

At the time of the fire, there were nine tenants living in the project. Support was provided to everyone to connect them to other social housing options in the area. Seven of the impacted tenants chose to continue accessing social housing were relocated to other vacant housing units in Carievale and surrounding communities and the other two chose to reside with family."

"At the meeting, we let the community know that we are not going to be rebuilding. The cost to rebuild Cari-Villa would be significant, and we have a high number of vacancies in the area. We also provided the community with information about an option for them to attain the building and land. If this isn’t feasible for the community, our plan will be to continue to keep the four remaining Cari-Vale units in our portfolio, and demolish the portion that was destroyed in the fire and remediate the site.”

DiscoverEstevan has reached out to Harrison's constituency office.

A person signing a petition

Correction: all mentions of the Saskatchewan Housing Authority in a previous version of this article were meant to refer to the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.