In the NG Times, a tragic story described: “Last week, ten people became homeless overnight due to their apartments on Clothier Street being condemned. Acting on a complaint by an unknown source, the Municipality’s Inspector declared it an unsafe place to live.”
An unexpected jolt in reading about this eviction by our public servants, Mayor and Council and on our behalf? Shocked? Sad? Somehow, only imagined landlords, without sympathy, would be capable of evicting a mother, her three children, her father and 5 other people. 24 hours to be gone from their accommodation. How? Why? This homeless happening is here!
How long had this building been deteriorating to the point of deserving being condemned? How long since its last inspection by a NG property inspector? Are rental properties inspected on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with municipal regulations? What is the penalty to the landlord for allowing such a disintegration? If none, why not? How can an unknown complaint source not be required to identify themselves and their motive for complaint?
Something obviously needed to be done, for a responsible employee to condemn the building? The part most shocking was the 24 hours’ notice to vacate the premises. Think if this happened to you. In a way, this is a kind of “refugee” situation. Is our NG community public service so without tools, they end up playing a role without sympathy? 24 hours seems a drastic verdict. What is needed to give people time to find alternatives since NG has no emergency housing options?
When announcing the Town Hall project, “Mayor Peckford underlined the issue: “We have a housing crisis in North Grenville. I regularly get calls from people saying they are getting evicted and don’t know where to go.” (NG Times Jan 12,2022). It is almost five years in this Mayor’s and Council’s tenure….
Ten people are scrambling to reorganize their lives. As Ms. Boyer noted in her article: “ These ten people are known to some of us. They are our neighbours and deserve better than what happened to them last week.” They lived in these conditions because they could not find affordable alternatives. This situation is known to the Mayor and Council. Then isn’t it also known by all the NG public service? What is the point of knowing, if something other than a 24 hour eviction is not apparently possible, unless the building was in immediate danger of collapse. Was it in imminent danger of collapse?
Yet “affordable housing” and the problems of availability were front and centre of two mayoral campaigns. Two projects for permanent housing were announced and started, but no emergency housing identified?
Too late, but many questions come to mind:
But…..doesn’t the Kemptville Campus owned by NG have living areas that students of Guelph U used to occupy?
Are they maintained in good condition by NG and at what cost? What is their intended or actual use?
Given that this Kemptville Campus space is bigger than the Town Hall, why were these not renovated instead or simultaneously with the Town Hall?
“Plans for the Town Hall units — Two of those units be fully accessible at a renovation cost of just under 2 million dollars?” (July 23, 2022 Kemptville Advance). Why were not all the units planned as accessible?
“According to a July 5, 2022 report an additional $207,241.60 is needed above the tender to finish the Town Hall project.”? Why is there a cost overrun of roughly 10%?
Are there savings possible or projects postponed in NG planned expenditures to allow for a solution to provide emergency accommodation in our community?
I sincerely hope that the individuals affected will find accommodation as soon as possible. It seems this should not have happened here?