Low-income renters face eviction
More than 30 tenants of a low-income apartment building in St. John's are worried they'll soon be homeless after they were served with eviction notices this week.
The tenants of Rockland Village 3, an apartment complex at 68 Pasadena Crescent, were notified Wednesday that they have until the end of April to move out.
Their building is going to be redeveloped into condominiums.
Frankie Clements, who lives in one of the apartments with his sick mother, said it won't be easy to find another place that he can afford.
"Every time they put up the rent, that's less food you have every month, or it's a light bill you can't pay," said Clements.
It's not the first time the building has been in the news. In October, it had to be evacuated due to an infestation of bedbugs.
Clements said like him, most of the tenants - clients of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing - don't have much money.
"We live on a monthly income, so when we go to Sobeys, Dominion or wherever, if we got $200 for groceries for a month, that's all we got."
Housing helps tenants
Housing pays most of the $850 monthly rent for low-income tenants to property owner, Martek.
Len Simms, the CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, said his agency will do what it can to help the tenants who are facing eviction.
"We've already been in touch with 22 of the 31 tenants," said Simms. "We're already working with them to try to find landlords who are willing to accept them and accept a rent supplement from us. You know, we have three months and it's a challenging situation. It never occurred before."
Simms said Housing has already found a new home for one tenant.
But with rent skyrocketing everywhere in the city, Clements doesn't know how he and his mother will survive.
"All your eggs are in one basket here. There's no plan B. If Newfoundland and Labrador Housing can't find something for us low-income people, we'll have to build a tent up in the woods somewhere and live."
No one from property owner Martek could be reached for comment.