Financial aid, free November rent for evacuated North Tower tenants

Financial aid, free November rent for evacuated North Tower tenants

October 16, 2010

North Tower tenants of 200 Wellesley St. E. forced from their homes by fire will receive financial aid and free November rent to assist them while they wait to return home, Toronto Community Housing announced today.

Late next week, North Tower tenants evacuated from their home after a six-alarm fire on Sept. 24 will receive a one-time clothing allowance. Tenants in bachelor and one-bedroom apartments will receive $150 per unit. Tenants in two-bedroom units will receive $300 per unit. In addition, North Tower tenants will not have to pay November rent. Tenants will also receive $10 a day, per unit, every day they stay with family and friends for the next 30 days. The assistance targets tenants who have not been able to return home or access their belongings. The assistance is being funded through targeted donations, Toronto Community Housing's insurance coverage and existing Toronto Community Housing budgets.

Toronto Community Housing shared the details with North Tower tenants today at a pair of town hall meetings at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. Tenants had the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from Toronto Community Housing staff and a panel including representatives from the City of Toronto, Toronto Fire, Toronto Police, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Animal Services as well as third-party air quality experts. A meeting for South Tower tenants who have already returned home will take place on October 26th.

To date, more than 300 units in the building's South Tower have been cleared for occupancy and reoccupied by tenants. The North Tower was hardest hit by the fire and requires extra time to remove excess moisture and clean up and repair water and smoke damage. The work is needed to address state of repair and moisture and air quality issues in the wake of a six-alarm fire that required 120 firefighters, 27 fire trucks, five hours and an estimated five million gallons of water to extinguish. The water is enough to fill almost eight Olympic-sized swimming pools. It will be between five weeks to three months before North Tower units are ready for occupancy depending on the degree of damage.

Toronto Community Housing continues to work co-operatively with the City of Toronto and community agencies to ensure the well-being of displaced tenants. Temporary housing continues to be provided for North Tower residents who need a place to stay. The Wellesley Community Centre remains open as a resource centre for residents of 200 Wellesley St. E. Tenants can access food vouchers and TTC tokens. Tenants with questions can access the tenant hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Toronto Community Housing has worked to secure donations to assist tenants affected by the fire. The donation centre is located at 257 Jarvis St., north of Dundas Street. Tenants of 200 Wellesley St. E. can visit the donation centre for new and used items such as furniture, clothing, school supplies, shoes, pots and pans, dishes, pet food, bedding and non-perishable food. Cash donations are still needed and can be made at any Royal Bank of Canada. As the weather turns colder, there is also the need for warm clothing and winter coats. Information about making donations is available online at www.torontohousing.ca or www.toronto.ca.

About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants, about 6% of the city's population, with low and moderate incomes. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs who deliver its mandate to provide quality housing and build great neighbourhoods.