Proposed LRT extension could displace low-income Nepean residents


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But the housing crisis still presents concerns for housing advocates such as Kaite Burkeholder Harris, executive director of the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa.

“My general feeling is that no one recognizes the level of urgency,” she said. “(The housing crisis) is not just affecting people who are low-income. Our housing costs have just increased consistently.”

She said the city is losing affordable housing faster than it can be built.

These concerns, she said, are not given enough attention when construction could lead to displacement. “These are the sorts of things that often happen, where you get going into something and you don’t necessarily see these spin-off consequences.”

For Manor Village residents, what they see as a lack of transparency from their new landlord is also heightening their uncertainty.

On Sept. 1, the property was bought by property management company Smart Living Properties, which owns more than 40 residential properties across the city.

Norma-Jean Quibell, co-chair of the Ottawa West Nepean Chapter of ACORN, said Smart Living hasn’t communicated its plans to Manor Village residents, which has raised concerns about the possibility of “renovictions.”

Recently, Manor Village residents delivered a letter to Smart Living, which included a demand for increased transparency and tenant consultations.

In a statement, Smart Living chief business officer Roland Gordon said the company intends to renovate vacant units as they become available. He said there are no further development plans until LRT plans are finalized.

He went on to say that Smart Living “is committed to open and transparent dialogue with tenants who are encouraged to contact the company directly with any questions or concerns.”

(Mia Jensen is a reporter with capitalcurrent.ca, where this story first appeared.)

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