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

  • Putin leads Russia to increase clout in the Middle East

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW - When Russia launched a military campaign in Syria two years ago, President Vladimir Putin sought to save his ally from imminent collapse and break Russia's international isolation over a crisis in Ukraine. He achieved that and more, emerging as a key stakeholder in the Middle East who has brokered deals with many of its key players - from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Turkey and Israel. Source
  • Philippines votes to extend martial law

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Congress voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law in the south by a year after the military warned that terrorist threats continue to lurk despite the defeat of a disastrous pro-Islamic State group siege. Source
  • FBI agent removed from Russia probe called Trump an 'idiot'

    World News CBC News
    Two FBI officials who would later be assigned to the special counsel's investigation into Donald Trump's U.S. presidential campaign described him with insults like "idiot" and "loathsome human" in a series of text messages last year, according to copies of the messages released Tuesday. Source
  • Suicide bomb suspect in New York City faces court hearing

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK - A Bangladeshi immigrant is expected to appear before a federal magistrate to face terrorism charges accusing him of setting off an explosive strapped to his body in a New York City transportation hub. Source
  • Pedophile stopped at Sydney Airport under anti-sex tourism law

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - A convicted child molester was prevented from flying overseas from Sydney Airport on Wednesday under new laws aimed at keeping Australian pedophiles from travelling to Southeast Asia for sex tourism. Laws that took effect on Wednesday prevent 20,000 convicted pedophiles listed on the Australian child sex offender register from leaving the country except for specific purposes approved by law enforcement agencies. Source
  • UN envoy says 'door ajar' to negotiated North Korea solution

    World News CBC News
    The UN political chief said Tuesday that senior North Korean officials told him during a four-day visit to the country last week "that it was important to prevent war" over the country's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Source
  • Assault victim says ex-boyfriend's discharge tells attackers 'He can get away with it'

    Canada News CTV News
    A Newfoundland woman who was beaten by her ex-boyfriend says a judge’s decision to grant a discharge sends a clear message to attackers that “you can do whatever you want as long as you’re going to university at some point. Source
  • North Koreans say it's important to prevent war: UN official

    World News CTV News
    The UN political chief said Tuesday that senior North Korea officials told him during a four-day visit to the country last week "that it was important to prevent war" over the country's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Source
  • Sold North Korean brides face hard choices in China

    World News CTV News
    WESTERN LIAONING PROVINCE, China -- The North Korean woman drives a motorbike slowly down a narrow lane shaded by tall corn to the farmhouse where she lives with the disabled Chinese man who bought her. Source
  • Democrat Doug Jones defeats Republican Roy Moore in stunning Alabama Senate upset

    World News CBC News
    In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama's special Senate election on Tuesday, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed Republican rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations. Source