Master keys to NB Housing apartments were lost or stolen three times in a nine-month span, costing the low-income housing corporation multiple headaches and more than $200,000 to fix so far, a CBC News investigation has found.
The three separate incidents affected nearly half the units owned by NB Housing across the province.
The missing keys have cost more than $213,000, according to documents obtained by CBC News through right to information legislation.
Most of the expense comes from changing locks, hiring temporary security and handing out new keys to tenants in 1,691 units.
No one from NB Housing or the Department of Social Development was made available for an interview for this story.
An unexplained delay
Department spokesperson Anne Mooers said the department takes the safety of tenants in NB Housing buildings seriously and “acts quickly” to ensure locks are replaced and security added to affected buildings when keys go missing.
But the department hasn’t yet explained why tenants in Saint John weren’t told about the most recent case of missing keys for more than a month.
A ring of master keys was lost on Feb. 13, but NB Housing didn’t report the loss to police until March 22, Saint John Police have said.
The loss affected 1,009 units, nearly all of the NB Housing apartments in Saint John. Police are still investigating the case.
Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman ordered an investigation into the delay. He’s awaiting the findings of that review, Mooers said.
Dorothy Shephard, the Progressive Conservative Social Development critic, said the cost of missing keys has added up to “a lot of money.”
“We are always going to have human error, but I do know that Minister Horsman had promised that after the incident in Fredericton, there would be policies and procedures put in place to mitigate it from happening again.”