Forced out of their homes more than three weeks ago and facing the holidays staying with friends, family or in motels … the tenants of Westcourt Place are getting desperate.
Diane Khoury and James White are two tenants who are increasingly frustrated with not knowing when they’ll get to go home. They created a resident’s association to organize meetings
“The difference between two weeks and 20 weeks … our lives are incredibly uncertain,” said White. “It’s hard to know what to do next.”
Khoury said tenants are “couch surfing” and scattered all over the place.
“It’s pretty sad you have to bounce between places. You can’t get comfortable,” said Khoury.
The resident’s association meets for the third time Saturday morning after the building stopped paying for residents to stay in motel rooms on Dec. 5.
“They’re on their own now,” said White. “We’re all just trying to pick up the pieces.”
According to Khoury, tenants aren’t allowed in the building at all, even into their own units. They had a few chances early on to pick up their personal items, but those were rushed circumstances.
“Not everyone got the communication [on when you could go back in],” said White. “And those of us who did, most of our time was unplugging appliances and cleaning out your fridge.”
Some residents haven’t been back in their units at all and have been told they can’t return anymore, despite appointments made through insurance companies for entrance.
“There’s a cap on [tenants insurance]. We’re running out and we can’t make a plan,” said White, who has been staying in a motel through his insurance. Khoury does not have insurance and her family had to split up amongst other friends and family members for accommodations.
White said some people, facing homelessness, are getting desperate .
“We’re basically slowly pushing 200 people into the city services,” said White. “I don’t know what the plan is to deal with that.’
Khoury said the least the apartment owners could do would be to give them a timeline on being able to return. White said the fire marshall should be providing answers.
“People are so lost,” said Khoury. “We’re trying to get more accommodations and services … shelter is number one.”
University of Windsor and St. Clair College students who live at Westcourt Place can contact the school for potential accommodation options.