A Cobourg man says it doesn’t make sense that because of new affordable housing units that Northumberland County is building, he and his family are being evicted.
Adam Woodman has lived at 311 Elgin Street East for the past five years with his family, but a letter he received from the Northumberland County Housing Corporation on October 20, 2022 states that he has until June 30, 2023 to find a new residence.
The reason being given is Northumberland County is entering the second phase of the construction of subsidized housing units.
In October 2021, Northumberland County Housing Corporation broke ground in the first phase of development of tearing down buildings to build new ones which would allow more units and people to live.
Northumberland County Housing Corporation is working with a local contractor, who has demolished the first five buildings and is currently building four buildings in its place. The contractor will be starting Phase 2 in which the remaining four buildings will be demolished and a subsequent four buildings will be built.
“They’re trying to evict the low-income families from the residences that are actually there now.”
Woodman said he and others had a choice in the summer that they could do one of three things.
More out of housing completely and get six months free rent – but you had to find your own place.
Or move to a temporary residence and NCHC pay $300 per bedroom, until the new units are built when they can move back.
The final option was to move to another residence within the NCHC as a permanent residence.
Woodman choose to move into another residence within NCHC that is gear to income.
Woodman said a day after he renewed his lease and added his girlfriend, he was served the eviction notice called a N13.
“Basically they want to terminate our tenancy by June 2023 under the reason they are demolishing the unit.”
“It’s weird, because they are building homes for low-income families, but they are evicting low-income families from their homes, to build the homes.”
Woodman also said the three options are now “off the table.”
“They just to terminate my tenancy along with one of my neighbours.”
“(It’s) very upsetting when you have a family.”
“The way rent is in Cobourg, for somebody who is on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) and can’t exactly afford any kind of rent.”
So far, the cheapest rent he has found is over $1,700 a month. A far cry for what he can afford for his family.
Woodman said he’s going to fight it with the Landlord and Tenant Act, but he’s hoping to come up with a solution with Northumberland County.
At this point, Woodman thinks it’s nothing but greed from Northumberland County.
“They can’t much money off somebody that’s here on low-income, so they are going to evict the people that don’t pay much to get people in that will pay more.”
Reaching out to Northumberland County for comment, Housing Services Manager for the County and NCHC, Rebecca Carman said, “The Northumberland County Housing Corporation (NCHC) has transition plans in place for tenants in good standing who will need to relocate as a result of the Elgin Park. This includes relocation to another available unit with the option of returning to Elgin Park once new units are completed.
While all tenants have received an official N13 eviction notice, those with tenancies in good standing also received a letter explaining that this is required under the Residential Tenancies Act as part of any relocation process, and reminding tenants of plans in place to support their transition to alternate safe and affordable housing during the construction period.
The NCHC has a legal obligation to respect tenant privacy; we cannot comment on the specific details of any individual’s tenancy. However, it is important to note that eviction from NCHC housing is only ever considered as a last resort.
The NCHC is vigilant in its focus on keeping people housed. Community housing is administered based on an eviction prevention model. Tenants have access to case workers and supports to ensure a successful tenancy. With this approach, less than one per cent of NCHC tenancies end in eviction.
In the rare circumstance where the NCHC moves forward with an eviction order, this decision is first validated through the Landlord Tenant Board – an impartial provincial body that ensures the landlord has taken all reasonable measures to help the tenant avoid eviction. With respect to the Elgin Park redevelopment process, in such a case, the tenant would nevertheless be provided with rent abatement supports.”
Below is letter Adam Woodman received
October 19, 2022
Dear Mr. Woodman:
In 2020, we reached out to you about our plans to build new subsidized housing units at
265-297 Elgin Street East. This project will increase the number of subsidized units in our community.
We broke ground in October 2021 and have now reached a point in the development in which Phase 1 will be completed in the Spring of 2023 and the remaining units located at 305-327 Elgin Street East will need to be demolished to complete Phase 2. This will require tenants located in units between 305-327 to vacate their units no later than June 30, 2023.
Please see the attached N13 for important dates to vacate your unit. If you have any questions in regards to the notice, please do not hesitate to contact the legal centre at 905-373-4464.
As a result of the requirement to vacate your unit, the Northumberland County Housing Corporation will provide you an amount equal to 5 months’ rent.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about this process or about construction plans for 265-327 Elgin Street East, I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 905-372-3329 ext. 2286
Housing Services Manager
Northumberland County Housing Corporation
I am giving you this notice because I want to end your tenancy. I want you to move out of your rental unit by the following termination date: 3/0 / 06 / 2 0 23.
My Reason for Ending your Tenancy
Reason 1: I intend to demolish the rental unit or the residential complex.
Reason 2: I require the rental unit to be vacant in order to do repairs or renovations so extensive that I am required to get a building permit and the rental unit must be vacant to do the work.
Note: You have the right to move back into the rental unit once I have completed the repairs or renovations. If you want to move back in once the work is done, you must give me written notice telling me you want to move back in. Also, you must keep me informed in writing any time your address changes.
Reason 3: I intend to convert the rental unit or the residential complex to a non-residential use.