It was a wet nightmare. A small group of East York tenants was shocked when a burst water pipe flooded their units in an affordable housing complex at Mortimer and Woodbine avenues last month. The water surged from a burst pipe on the third floor downward, through ceilings and floors, to cause major damage on all levels below. Adding to their upset, some tenants were initially disappointed by what they perceived as a measured response by the Fred Victor social service agency that operates the units.
The flood caused such serious damage that major renovations are required, and the estimated time for the repairs is four months. As you might expect, the units are uninhabitable in the meantime — and so the bottom line is that tenants were rendered virtually homeless about a month before this holiday season.
Fortunately, Beaches-East York councillor Janet Davis got involved, and between her and Fred Victor, the tenants have received assistance with their efforts to find a temporary place to stay. Fred Victor is covering the tenants’ move as well as the required first and last month’s rent. Should the rent at their new home be higher than their initial rent at 704 Mortimer, the organization will cover the difference. The renovated units will also be put on reserve for the original tenants.
The comprehensive assistance from Fred Victor is a commendable move, but some questions remain. The organization pledged its support for the tenants over the four-month renovation period. But what happens if renovation is prolonged? It would certainly be nice to know that Fred Victor is committed to seeing their support efforts through to the end, no matter how long it takes. That kind of peace of mind would mean a happier new year.