Kingsway, sudbury

A Sudbury apartment building that's been shuttered for fire code violations is for sale. The old Kingsway Hotel is being sold by the city of Greater Sudbury, because the landlord hasn't paid taxes for the past four years.

Janet Gasparini, executive director of Sudbury's social planning council social planning council, said low-rent buildings like this one are needed to keep people off the street.

Gasparini said even landlords who have good intentions have a hard time.

Provide more subsidies to landlords

"The amount of money that comes in from rent has to not only pay the upkeep on the building and the maintenance and the taxes and the heat and hydro, but a landlord expects to walk away with a profit, so right there is a problem, because we already know there's not enough money," said Gasparini.

Gasparini suggested governments provide more subsidies to private landlords, instead of always focusing on building new social housing.

Murielle Christianson would like to see the Kingsway Hotel torn down, so no one else has to live through what she did.

Christianson was one of 60 people evacuated from the Kingsway Hotel in 2009.

The 74-year-old had lived there through constant flooding and cold winter nights.

"Where you gonna go? I mean, everybody was on welfare and ODSP and everything, so they had no choice but to stay there."

Christianson had been waiting for years for a spot in social housing and the emergency saw her move to the top of the list.

She said she never plans to move out of the apartment she's in now.

This is exactly why more low-rent buildings are needed, Gasparini said.

"Without those buildings, people would be on the street because we don't have enough subsidized units or social housing."

with files from Erik White