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

  • Passenger train partly derails in Australia, killing 2

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Several cars on a passenger train derailed in southeastern Australia, killing two operators and injuring 12 other people, police said. The train was heading from Sydney to Melbourne late Thursday when part of it came off the tracks in Victoria state near Wallan. Source
  • Wet'suwet'en chiefs to spend Friday with Mohawk supporters in Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A group of hereditary leaders from the Wet'suwet'en Nation in British Columbia is to spend the day with Mohawk supporters in Ontario. The B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to a pipeline project on their traditional territory by blocking a critical rail line between Toronto and Montreal. Source
  • First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today

    Canada News CTV News
    Full coverage CTVNews.ca/Coronavirus First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today As Canadians from cruise ship fly home, those who tested positive can only wait Source
  • Thai court orders popular opposition party dissolved

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- Thailand's constitutional Court on Friday ordered the popular opposition Future Forward Party dissolved, declaring that it violated election law by accepting a loan from its leader. The court also imposed a 10-year ban on the party's executive members holding political office. Source
  • Latino voters can make or break Democratic campaigns. They're about to get their say in 2020

    World News CBC News
    Latino voters turned the course of the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016. They're about to get their say in 2020. Starting this weekend in Nevada, followed just over a week later by the delegate-bountiful states of California and Texas, Hispanic voters will play a make-or-break role. Source
  • Be warned, Conservatives: a failed leadership bid is not a career-builder

    Canada News CBC News
    There are two types of candidates vying for the Conservative leadership — those who have a plausible chance of winning and those who don't. Only the second category is getting larger. Maybe the people in this second group think they can pull off an unlikely upset. Source
  • Government asking for an extra $2.1 billion for Indigenous programs

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is asking Parliament to spend an additional $2.1 billion on Indigenous programs and initiatives, above and beyond what MPs already have approved. While $2 billion of the proposed spending for Indigenous services would be new money, supplementary estimates tabled in Parliament show that more than $53 million in net transfers from various departments would go to a wide range of Indigenous programs and projects. Source
  • Grief, anger and calls for action after shooting in Germany

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Thousands have gathered in cities across Germany to hold vigils for the victims of a racially motivated shooting, amid growing calls for authorities to crack down on far-right extremism. A 43-year-old German man shot dead nine people of immigrant background in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau Wednesday before killing his mother and himself. Source
  • Iran votes in parliament elections that favour conservatives

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, IRAN -- Iranians were voting for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and isolate the country diplomatically. The disqualification of more than 7,000 potential candidates, most of them reformists and moderates, raised the possibility of lower-than-usual turnout. Source
  • Charter flight carrying quarantined cruise passengers lands at CFB Trenton

    Canada News CBC News
    The charter plane carrying more than 200 Canadian passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed at CFB Trenton in Ontario. The plane, which touched down just after 2 a.m. ET, was carrying passengers from the cruise liner that was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan since early February due to an outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. Source