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

  • Florida man pleads guilty to mailing bombs to Trump foes

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump in a wave of attacks that harmed no one but spread fear of political violence across the U.S. Source
  • Study: About 4 per cent of women are pregnant when jailed

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- About 4 per cent of women incarcerated in state prisons across the U.S. were pregnant when they were jailed, according to a new study released Thursday that researchers hope will help lawmakers and prisons better consider the health of women behind bars. Source
  • Video shows teen's beating during West Virginia traffic stop

    World News CTV News
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A police dashcam video released Thursday shows a West Virginia police officer kicking and punching a handcuffed teenage boy on the ground and kneeling on his shoulder during a November traffic stop. Source
  • Cheetahs will not prosper in B.C.: panel rejects permit request for two big cats

    Canada News CTV News
    NELSON, B.C. -- The owners of two cheetahs will not be allowed to return the large, African cats to southeastern British Columbia to use them as ambassador animals promoting conservation of the endangered species. Following a multi-day hearing last fall, the Environmental Appeal Board, which considers issues raised under B.C. Source
  • Kenney promises referendum on equalization in 2021 if no pipeline progress

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- The leader of Alberta's United Conservatives is promising a referendum on equalization if there's no major progress on market-opening pipelines. Jason Kenney says if he becomes premier the matter would be put to voters on Oct. Source
  • 450 cocaine bricks worth $38M found at Philadelphia port

    World News CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- U.S. customs officials say drug dogs sniffed out Philadelphia's largest seizure of cocaine in more than two decades. Local, state and federal law enforcement officials said Thursday that 450 bricks of cocaine were found inside 13 duffel bags in a shipping container. Source
  • In major policy shift, U.S. abruptly endorses Israel's Golan sovereignty

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly declared Thursday the U.S. will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election. Source
  • Investigation into Parkland shooting expands to include principal

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - An investigation of a Florida school shooting that left 17 dead last year is expanding to include the school's principal. Broward County Public Schools announced Thursday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Principal Ty Thompson will remain at the school, though his responsibilities are being reassigned. Source
  • Alberta Liberals would add seats for Indigenous MLAs, make juries representative

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says he would improve child welfare, education and justice for Indigenous people if his party were to win the April 16 election. Khan says a Liberal government would create regional Indigenous child protection offices, run by Indigenous groups, to help keep children in their home communities. Source
  • Cummings: Ivanka Trump not saving all official email

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a powerful White House aide, is not preserving all of her official email communications as required by federal law, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Thursday. Source