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Enhanced security at Edgewater leads to fewer emergency calls

'There were a lot more activities taking place than we were aware of — just with the number of people being escorted off the property'
The Edgewater Apartments are located at 365 Lakeshore Dr.

The Board of Directors of the Nipissing District Housing Corporation (NDHC) heard positive reviews from staff and clients during its most recent meeting regarding the living conditions for tenants at its Edgewater Apartments, located at 365 Lakeshore Dr.

The NDHC is the housing arm of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB). NDHC has 896 units among its holdings, consisting of rent-geared-to-income and market rent units. Its mandate is to provide safe and affordable housing to those who need it the most and support healthy, secure communities for its tenants.

TracyAnn Bethune, the director of NDHC, filed a report on the new, enhanced services it had initiated at the 134-unit Edgewater, following Board approval in January. The enhanced services include after-hour contracted security services and a temporary tenant advocate position.

The measures went into effect on March 1. The pilot was touted to "mitigate incidents, decrease the number of emergency services calls to the site, and address complex tenancies," according to Bethune's report.

Enhanced on-site security services were contracted to have an after-hours presence daily. The security personnel monitored the surveillance system of the building and grounds. They completed regular walkabouts  — both inside and outside the premises.

Bethune and team observed the enhanced security piece had made tangible results from the onset. Security personnel monitored surveillance cameras and addressed anything they deemed suspicious. This included assisting with tenant lockouts, entrances pried open, and unlocked common spaces. They also escorted non-tenants off the property, attended units with emergency services, and addressed disturbances. 

"There were a lot more activities taking place than we were aware of — just with the number of people being escorted off the property. And, a number of doors left ajar or pried open with various objects," observed Christian Carrier, the NDHC's manager of corporate assets.

In the first two months of the pilot program, comparing March to April, the results show diminishing instances of "Enforcement of unwanted guests," from 27 to 19, and "Disturbances/Emergency service assistance," from 25 to 16.

Often a hot spot for emergency calls and responses, North Bay Police Service stats show 67 calls from January to April to the Edgewater, with occurrences on a steady decline and in alignment with the pilot's introduction. It is a similar story for the District of Nipissing Paramedic Services, which registered 37 calls
for service, again with the highest frequency in January, and lower calls in April.

To address the security issues with doors and common spaces Bethune said the building would soon have an improved fob system in place. "The installation of the
improved fob system in the stairwells and the elevator is ongoing and completion is being prioritized by the contractors."

The tenant advocate position was also initiated on March 1 and feedback from tenants through staff has been positive. "We've been seeing people who rarely come out of their apartments over the past few years coming out," Carrier told the Board.

The tenant advocate's caseload has grown from 24 to 36 from March to April and the number of referrals, 32 to 36, case conferences, 3 to 4, wellness checks, 46 to 62, and mental health supports have all risen from month to month.

NDHC staff will continue to explore funding opportunities to support internal or external mental health and addictions programs on-site on a more permanent basis, according to the report.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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