In the month of January, the government had paused the eviction of residents in rental properties for the second time in the wake of COVID-19, but now with the end of the provincial emergency orders the tenants who cannot pay the rent can be legally evicted from their homes.

Even though the entire province has not come out of lockdown and some of the places are still under stay-at-home order, regions like London that no longer fall under the emergency orders can see people being evicted from their homes.  

Terence Kernaghan, London North Centre NDP said that they have been calling out for rent subsidies to all those people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. He quoted,” “For folks who are struggling. You know so that 80 per cent of the household rent up to $2500 would be covered. Because there are many folks who aren’t able to work, and as a result their landlords are also going to struggle.”

This move has come on the same day as a private members bill from the NDP was being considered. The bill calls for banning evictions of residents until the pandemic has been over for at least a year, as has also been determined by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario.

These developments from the province are parallel to the London anti-poverty group Lifespin making a couple of lists to record housing conditions in the city, with the first focusing on the derelict homes across London, while the second focuses on raising awareness about substandard properties that are inhabited, in a bid to have the city take action on the homes.

Orest Katoylk, the Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, London replied to the same and was quoted saying, “The city has a protocol around vacant buildings whereby bylaw officers ensure they are secured against trespassing and if property standard issues continue for an extended period, the city has the option of demolishing the building at the property owner’s expense.”

“If the city knows they’re living in unsafe conditions, and we’ve told them about a few properties, they either need to make those properties safe themselves and add it to the tax roll of the landowner or move the family somewhere where it is safe.”

As for the residents, they remain uncertain and unsecured for there seems to be no end to the pandemic as of now. And even if it does, what is the guarantee that we will be called back to work soon enough or have our regular pre-COVID incomes returned? Source: CBC and CTV

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