Toronto Community Housing has issued the following statement regarding media reports about a tenancy issue at 40 Asquith Ave:
The December 25th date on the notice provided to the tenant was an unfortunate choice and we have no intention of enforcing the notice on Christmas Day. The notice is not an eviction order.
The real issue is that we have taken action as a landlord to address a situation where the conduct of an individual tenant has affected other tenants enjoyment of their homes and put the safety of everyone in the building at risk.
For privacy reasons, we cannot discuss this tenant's situation without her consent. However, we can confirm that Toronto Community Housing has followed its policies and procedures for issuing notices of termination and for dealing with hoarding behaviour. These policies and procedures focus on making repeated efforts to communicate directly with the tenant about the seriousness of the situation and its effect on other tenants. Such efforts would include:
** Offering to connect the tenant through community care access centres and other social services agencies to the help and supports that would enable them to maintain their housing.
** Working with other agencies such as Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Fire Services, to take an integrated approach in addressing hoarding issues.
** Making repeated attempts to meet face-to-face with the tenant to communicate the very serious fire safety risks that occur as a direct result of hoarding, as well as the public health risks posed by pest infestations that often occur in units with excessive clutter.
Our goal is to get the tenant to grasp the seriousness of the situation and to accept the supports being offered, so that the issues arising from hoarding can be addressed and the tenant can remain housed. A notice of termination would only be issued after repeated attempts to apply these measures have been exhausted.
In all such cases, staff will seek to balance the privacy rights of individual tenants with our responsibility to protect the safety and respect the rights of other tenants in the building.
Staff will meet with the tenant living at 40 Asquith again on Monday, to once again explain the legal process and again express our desire to mediate an agreement allowing her to maintain her tenancy.
The notice of termination does not mean eviction is automatic. If the problem isn't worked out before December 25th, the tenant can stay in the unit until we file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Our intent would be to seek a mediated agreement that makes sure the unit gets cleaned and the change is sustained over time with the help of home supports. Only the Landlord and Tenant Board can order an eviction.