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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Special Risk and Hoarding Program

Public Health Inspectors on the Environmental Health Team at the Middlesex-London Health Unit follow up reports about Special Risk Citizens and situations of hoarding.  Reports can be telephone calls from concerned members of the public, or referrals from outside agencies requesting an investigation.

Who are Special Risk Citizens? 

The Middlesex-London Health Unit defines Special Risk Citizens as persons suffering from all of the following conditions:

  • Grave chronic illness,
  • Aged, weak or physically handicapped,
  • Living in unsanitary, unsafe conditions,
  • Unable to properly care for themselves,
  • Are not assisted by any specific organization, and
  • Will not accept active care.

What is hoarding?

Hoarding is acquiring possessions along with the failure to discard them, even if the items are worthless, no longer useful.1

What are the effects of hoarding?

Hoarded items fill the person's home, and can cause severe problems with day-to-day activities and relationships, and even pose a danger to life through being a fire and safety hazard.1 

For more information view Hoarding Disorder (aka Pathologic Hoarding).

Who else is involved in the Special Risk and Hoarding Program?

Other agencies involved in the Special Risk and Hoarding Program include:

  • London Fire Department, 519-661-2500 ext. 4565
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, 519-434-9191
  • Community Care Access Centre, 519-473-2222
  • London and District Distress Centre - Seniors Helpline, 519-667-6600
  • WOTCH Community Mental Health Services, 519-668-0624

Additional Information

To speak to a Public Health Inspector on the Environmental Health Team about the Special Risk and Hoarding Program, please call:

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2300
Please note: A Public Health Inspector does not have the right or jurisdiction to enter a person’s private residence or to force a change in living conditions unless that situation is affecting the health and/or safety of others.
Date of creation: December 6, 2012
Last modified on: September 11, 2019

References (2016, December 1). Hoarding disorder (aka pathologic hoarding). Retrieved from