Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) has released a report and infographic on home takeovers and the groundbreaking work in Ottawa to address and prevent them.

A home takeover happens when someone stays over in a home and refuses to leave. It often starts innocently when someone invites a friend or family member into their home. When the guest won’t leave, the person starts to feel vulnerable and unsafe over time.

Home takeovers often involve illegal activities, such as drug use or sex trafficking. The guest may be abusive and take control of the space.

Home takeovers during COVID-19

The person experiencing a home takeover is usually disconnected from friends, family members, neighbours and services. This makes them easier to target. We are concerned about informal reports of increased home takeovers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing measures and isolation may make it harder for people to reach out for support.

This means it’s more important than ever to raise awareness of home takeovers and the help that’s available. Our new materials will support efforts to achieve this.

Leading the fight against home takeovers

Together with our partners, we’ve played a key role in identifying and addressing the issue of home takeovers in Ottawa and beyond. Our 2013 research continues to serve as a foundation for Canadian home takeover initiatives. We’ve also developed a range of educational materials that have been adapted by community groups across the country.

Download the report and infographic

The report and infographic are available in English and French on our website at

Read about home takeovers in Kelly Egan’s Ottawa Citizen story of October 17, “The creeping, hidden menace of home takeovers.”