Shortage of water meters raises fears that apartment development may dry up

The completion of several apartment buildings in Winnipeg is in limbo because the city has run out of water meters it normally supplies to developers.

The city says a shortage of small-diameter water meters has prevented it from meeting demand for the devices, which developers are installing to monitor the water usage of individual apartment tenants or homeowners. condominiums.

River Heights-Fort Garry County John Orlikow said he is concerned that the resulting occupancy delays will result in new costs for developers, deprive the city of property tax revenue and leave tenants who signed leases without housing.

“If you don’t know if you can actually get water online, you can’t get occupancy and I’m sure that’s going to cause a lot of developers a real headache,” Orlikow said in a post. interview.

Its neighborhood includes the Refinery District, a residential area of ​​Fort Garry taking shape in what was once the industrial area of ​​Sugar Beet Lands, north of Bishop Grandin Boulevard. Orlikow said he was told that one of the multi-family buildings under construction in the new neighborhood was now on hold.

“People are investing a lot of money to start these projects. We need housing. We see our numbers growing continuously,” he said. “We need these units online.”

The city would not say when it will run out of meters it provides to developers of new apartment buildings and condominiums.

“There are water meter shortages in the industry due to supply chain issues,” city spokesman Kalen Qually said in a statement.

“The city is experiencing delays in providing all requested water meters to multi-family developments, but we are working with developers on interim solutions for building readings until enough meters are obtained.”

Several multi-family buildings are under construction on Ballantrae Road in Winnipeg’s Refinery District, an area of ​​Fort Garry formerly known as Sugar Beet Lands. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

The city is working with its supplier to get more small-diameter meters, said Lisa Marquardson, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Water and Waste Department.

Meanwhile, installation of such meters is down 50%, she said.

Developers of new apartment buildings are being offered a single large meter instead, with the option of adding additional meters as supply increases, Marquardson said.

There’s no shortage of water meters the city provides for single-family homes, she added.

The Manitoba Home Builders Association said it is monitoring the situation.

“We want to ensure that a delay like this will not have a significant impact on the pace of residential construction and the installation of water meters,” said President and CEO Lanny. McInnes, in an interview.

“It’s the essential element for someone to move into their new home.”

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