Workers are clearing out a central Halifax homeless encampment today — one week after a municipal deadline passed for residents to leave it and four other sites previously approved by the city.

Fencing was installed around the perimeter of Victoria Park, and the municipality’s executive director of community safety Bill Moore was on site alongside city workers who were putting tents, food waste and unclaimed belongings in the garbage.

Moore says people who had been camped in the park have moved elsewhere, and some of them will be setting up their tents one block away on a grassy berm along University Avenue.

He says Victoria Park has a concerning rat infestation, and people who want to continue sleeping in a tent can do so at one of the four remaining designated encampment sites — including the University Avenue green space.

On Feb. 7, Halifax asked unhoused people living in tents at Victoria Park and four other previously authorized encampments to leave by Feb. 26.

The city said the encampments are a safety risk and indoor housing options are available, including at the Halifax Forum, a shelter with 70 beds located in the north end of the city.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.

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