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Tenants rally together in protest of OCH’s standards

<p>After waiting five years for a city subsidized housing unit, Anik Lortie-Gauthier finally moved into her DuMaurier Avenue home last year only to discover mould on her basement wall. She contacted Ottawa Community Housing to fix the problem.</p>




After waiting five years for a city subsidized housing unit, Anik Lortie-Gauthier finally moved into her DuMaurier Avenue home last year only to discover mould on her basement wall. She contacted Ottawa Community Housing to fix the problem.





Almost a year later, she’s still waiting.





“They told me to clean it and I can’t do it because I’m allergic to the product,” she said.





But her first concern is for her two children, ages 13 and 15. “My son has asthma,” she explained.





Lortie-Gauthier is one of about 50 subsidized housing tenants who will be rallying today to protest the condition of Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) units. The protesters, organized by the Association of Community Organizations for





Reform Now (ACORN), will take unfilled work orders to the OCH office on Ramsey Crescent to complain that needed repairs are taking too long to complete.





Kevin Morron is tired of waiting for Ottawa Housing to follow up on his requests for repairs to his Ramsey Crescent townhouse, where he’s lived seven years.





“On my floor, there are certain spots where tiles have been lifting over the last three to four years,” said Morron. “If you’re not careful, you can end up with slivers in your feet.”





He placed his latest work order weeks ago and has yet to hear back.





“We’d like to have (work orders) filled within days — not weeks and months.”





David McCarron, OCH’s director of administration, said urgent repairs get completed right away, but filling all orders at Ottawa’s 14,783 units takes time to complete, depending on the nature of the work.





“Urgent requirements — water penetration from another unit, a situation where the door is broken and the unit is not secure — are done within 24 hours. Things like that are responded to right away,” he said.





Other issues are dealt with the next business day, or when it can be assigned to a maintenance worker, McCarron said.


 
 
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