It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go. But inside, it was horrifying.
The house was made of metal, and had no windows as you entered. There was a furnace and a tiny kitchen in the front, and a tiny bathroom in the back. Even worse, there was no electricity. There was a generator next to the toilet, and a small wood stove in the center of the kitchen, but there was no electricity to it, and no running water.
It was cramped, hot and smelly, and there were rats and mice in the walls and the floors. There was a mattress stuffed with cardboard at the foot of the bed in the back, and one person was supposed to sleep there, but her mattress was never placed properly, and she got sick the first night.
The people who rented the house shared the kitchen and bathroom, but they rarely paid for the heat or running water, and they paid less for the rent than what they were supposed to get. The house was supposed to be an affordable place that was safe and clean and would house more people – but it wasn’t.
That’s why the family had to call in the Ontario government and the Ontario housing ministry, and they had to pay more than $90,000 to fix the place and get the electricity and heat working again.
They had to spend $500 a month on food, and they had to pay the rent to these people who didn’t even live there. Some of the neighbors weren’t nice at all and had made many a noise complaint to the authorities.
A lawsuit was brought against the landlord by the family who lived in the house and by the Ontario government, which is trying to get the landlord to repair his house, and to pay the rent. The landlord has argued that he’s a private residence and the family can’t use the law to interfere with what he calls his right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of his own premises.
The federal government has filed a lawsuit against the landlord for $90,000 to fix the house and get electricity, and pay the rent. (The Canadian Press)
The lawsuit says that the family who lived in the house, and the government, have discriminated against people with disabilities by forcing them into rented houses that are uncomfortable and unsafe and that don’t meet provincial minimum standards