Mother, son with disabilities wait 19 months in motel for social housing

After 19 months living in a cramped motel room, a mother and her son with disabilities are hoping they won't have to wait much longer for a place to call home.

See Full Article

Karen Belaire and her son, George, moved into an Ottawa motel in June, 2014.

At the time, Belaire says, the city told her the arrangement was only a temporary solution until social housing spaces opened up.

"I was told that it could be up to four months, it could be seven months, it could be nine months, even with (George's) urgent medical status and being at the top of the wait list." she told CTV Ottawa.

Instead, she says they've spent more than a year-and-a-half in the motel, where they are short on space and privacy.

The 4.5-by-six-metre lodgings would be a tight fit for most families, but Belaire says George's medical equipment takes up what little room there is.

George, 17, was born with one failing kidney, bladder problems, epilepsy, autism and impaired vision.

He relies on Belaire for help with a number of tasks, including eating.

George's conditions also make it difficult for him to deal with stairs, Belaire said, so the family needs a home with bedrooms and a washroom on the ground floor.

"George is not good with stairs, and the only units in Ottawa that have washrooms on the main floor are three-bedroom units," she said.

Because she and her son are only two people, however, Belaire says they aren't eligible for the three-bedroom homes. This means they've been left with an extended wait, despite George's medical needs.

As they hold out for a home of their own, Belaire says they're making due by using the motel room's entertainment area as a place to prepare food, and relying on the single sink in the washroom.

"A home where we could spread out a little bit and I could have more than one sink would be wonderful," she said.

The City of Ottawa said it couldn't comment on a specific housing case, but in a statement it said the system prioritizes people with medical needs.

"Those who have waited the longest are offered assistance first, with priority given to victims of abuse, people who are homeless, urgent safety or medical needs," Aaron Burry, the general manager of community and housing services, said.

According to a 2015 survey by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, the average Ontario applicant spends 3.83 years on a waitlist before receiving rent-geared-to-income housing.

With files from CTV Ottawa



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Man charged in toddler's 2014 death linked to snake venom

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A 51-year-old man has been arrested in the 2014 death of a two-year-old girl and North Vancouver Mounties say it's believe she was poisoned by snake venom. Police say Henry Thomas had the girl in his care on May 18, 2014, and returned her to her mother that day in North Vancouver. Source
  • 7 shot to death at home in Mexican resort city of Cancun

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Authorities say three gunmen have shot to death seven people at a house in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, in an apparent dispute between street-level drug dealers. Cancun is located in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo. Source
  • B.C. man who left moose to suffer before death is convicted, fined in court

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- A man who illegally shot a moose in British Columbia's southern Interior has been fined $10,000 after leaving the animal to suffer before it died. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says it began an investigation in November 2017 after the man from Surrey, B.C. Source
  • Premier says no changes to Quebec gun registry despite call for better screening

    Canada News CTV News
    QUEBEC - The head of the Quebec City mosque where six men were killed in a shooting almost two years ago wants the province to tighten up controls over who has access to firearms. In a letter to Premier Francois Legault, Boufeldja Benabdallah identifies a weakness when it comes to verifying people who have mental health problems. Source
  • Man who killed Const. Sarah Beckett gets partial parole for rehab treatment

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - A drunk driver who killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in a crash has been granted limited day parole to attend alcohol abuse treatment. Kenneth Fenton was handed a five-year, six-month prison sentence in July 2017 and his first parole hearing was held today at a medium-security prison in Abbotsford, B.C. Source
  • Expect more extreme hurricanes on the East Coast due to faster ice melts in Greenland, study says

    World News CBC News
    Ice is melting in an unexpected region of Greenland at a rate that is unprecedented in the past century, according to a study published Monday, which could lead to rising sea levels and increasingly wild weather on the East Coast. Source
  • European Union sanctions heads of Russian intelligence for poisoning former spy and daughter

    World News CBC News
    The European Union has sanctioned the heads of Russia's military intelligence and two of their officers for poisoning a former Russian double agent in Britain last year, a decision Moscow dismissed as groundless. The EU travel bans and asset freezes issued Monday are against two men Britain has named as Russia intelligence officers Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and accused of attempting to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Source
  • Russia brandishes new superweapons as U.S. threatens to scrap nuclear treaty

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Man accused of throwing trailer hitch at woman in Thunder Bay, Ont., to stand trial for 2nd degree murder

    Canada News CBC News
    A Thunder Bay, Ont., man will stand trial for second degree murder in the death of an Indigenous woman who was hit by a trailer hitch in January 2017. Brayden Bushby was initially charged with aggravated assault, accused of throwing a metal trailer hitch from a moving vehicle which struck 34-year-old Barbara Kentner. Source
  • Death toll in Mexico pipeline fire reaches 89

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- The death toll in a massive fire at an illegally tapped pipeline in Mexico rose to 89 Monday as more of the injured have died at hospitals. Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said 51 victims severely burned in the fire were still in hospitals, two of them in Galveston, Texas. Source