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

  • Trump allows scheduled release of JFK records

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he doesn’t plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Trump says in a tweet that “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened. Source
  • Spanish PM seeks Senate backing to take over Catalonia government

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — The Spanish government moved decisively Saturday to use a previously untapped constitutional power so it can take control of Catalonia and derail the independence movement led by separatist politicians in the prosperous industrial region. Source
  • Somalia's death toll at 358 as “state of war' planned

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOGADISHU, Somalia — The death toll in Somalia’s deadliest attack has risen to 358 while dozens remain missing. Somalia’s president was expected to announce a “state of war” against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said. Source
  • Malta offers $1.18 million to discover who killed reporter

    World News CTV News
    VALLETTA, Malta -- Malta's government is offering a $1.18 million reward and full protection for anyone with information on who killed an investigative reporter with a car bomb. The government statement Saturday called the Oct. Source
  • Paralympian awarded $9M after U of Regina found negligent in swimming accident

    Canada News CBC News
    The University of Regina has been deemed negligent by a jury in a June 2005 diving accident that left Miranda Biletski a quadriplegic. Biletski and the Piranhas Swim Club were deemed not at fault in the same accident. Source
  • Trump calls congresswoman 'wacky' in dispute over remarks to soldier's widow

    World News CBC News
    Mourners were expected to pack a church Saturday to honour a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman. Family, friends and neighbours of Sgt. Source
  • Bannon faults George W. Bush for ‘destructive’ presidency

    World News CTV News
    Former White House adviser Steve Bannon depicted former U.S. President George W. Bush as bumbling and inept, faulting him for presiding over a “destructive” presidency during his time in the White House. Bannon’s scathing remarks on Friday night amounted to a retort to a Bush speech in New York earlier this week, in which the 43rd president denounced bigotry in Trump-era American politics and warned that the rise of “nativism,” isolationism and conspiracy theories have clouded the nation’s true…
  • U.S. appeals court blocks immigrant teen's access to abortion

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — An appeals court is blocking, for now, an abortion sought by a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant being held in a Texas facility, ruling that the government should have time to try to release her so she can obtain the abortion outside of federal custody. Source
  • Knife wielding man arrested after 8 attacked in Munich

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERLIN — A man with a knife attacked eight people in Munich on Saturday and then fled, police said. The suspected assailant, a local German already known to police for theft and other offences, was arrested a few hours later. Source
  • Trump jabs back at 'wacky' congresswoman as spat rolls on

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Unwilling to put the tussling behind, U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday jabbed back at the Democratic lawmaker who has slammed him for his words of condolence to a military widow, calling Rep. Source