Monday, November 20, 2006

Ottawa Public Housing Tenants Can Bypass Landlord For Repairs

Tenants of buildings owned by the City of Ottawa now have a resource that only people in privately owned buildings had before — a way to get leaky foundations, mouldy walls and other substandard housing conditions fixed even if their landlord won't do the work.

When tenants complain about private buildings, the city's property standards branch can order repairs and bill the landlord.

But ntil recently, public housing tenants, whose landlord is the city itself, didn't have access to that last resort.

The previous double standard was absurd. Seniors say complaints were put off

Seniors living in an Ottawa Community Housing Corp. building on Wellington Street turned to her for help three months ago when the city would not direct their complaints about maggots and filth in a garbage room to the property standards branch.

Property standards would take a complaint [about city public housing], but it has to get to them.

The seniors called 311, the city of Ottawa's "one-stop" contact center for municipal information and services. There, city employees told the seniors were told to call Ottawa Community Housing itself, not the property standards branch.

That's not how tenants of private landlords are treated.

The bottom line is, if you make a complaint about a property, they then don't ask you, 'So, have you sat down with your landlord?'.

Why is this landlord any different from any other landlord?

Property standards for public housing were traditionally dealt with through Ottawa Community Housing and not through the property standards branch.

Tenants of Ottawa's social housing should now expect to reach the property standards branch with their complaints.

Ottawa Municipal Property Standards:

Ottawa Property Standards 244-5670
Vanier Bylaw Enforcement 746-8105
Gloucester Property Standards 748-4267
Nepean Bylaw Enforcement 727-6600
Kanata Bylaw Enforcement 592-4281, ext. 275


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