WINDSOR – Lisa Gretzky, NDP MPP for Windsor West, released the following statement in response to news that residents of a heatless apartment building are being evacuated into buses and emergency shelters for warmth:
“It's completely unacceptable that the residents of 1616 Ouellette Ave. have not had working heat at all this fall, despite a bylaw that requires heat to be available by September 16. Residents at this building have also had to deal with horrendous living conditions like bed bugs and rodents, that need to be urgently addressed. Things have gone from bad to worse when desperate residents turned to space heaters to stay warm, only to have the electricity go out.
It never should have gotten to a point where the residents are having to seek refuge from the cold on buses, and sleep on community centre cots.
The landlord of this building must meet their basic legal requirements to provide warmth and shelter to their residents. Until the issue is fixed, the landlord should put tenants up in a hotel, and pay back a portion of rent for the time that people have been living without heat. I also call on the province‘s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to make sure this landlord understands and follows the law.
I will be monitoring this situation closely. Residents of 1616 Ouellette need and deserve a warm place to stay that is not a bus, and their building heat and electricity must be permanently restored as soon as possible. Time is of the essence as temperatures continue to dip below zero into the winter months.”