'A nightmare': Concerns over hotel bills by displaced Westcourt Place residents
WINDSOR -- It's been more than three weeks since fire displaced hundreds of residents at Westcourt Place in downtown Windsor and the ordeal isn't over.
Pavel Zhavoronkov is among the group of residents without alternate accommodations, who have been staying at a Quality Inn hotel on Westcourt's dime, until Thursday.
“It was just a nightmare," says Zhavoronkov.
He received a letter this week from Westcourt that as of Dec. 5, building owners would no longer be paying for the hotel rooms.
"It is terrible because to be honest I thought that they were paying for the accommodation because it was the right thing to do,” says Zhavoronkov. “It's not our fault that we were moved out of the building."
The letter expresses sympathy, but doesn't answer any burning questions about how much longer tenants will be out of their homes.
“I basically don't know what to do next because I don't know the next course of action," says Zhavoronkov.
Westcourt Place building manager Vickie Heyden wouldn't comment on the hotel accommodations, but has been providing occasional updates on Facebook, including one today, where she said, 'We are still waiting for results from the air quality test which will give us a better indication of a time frame regarding the next steps that need to be taken before occupancy can reoccur. I am hopeful that these results will come soon so that I can pass them along to you.'
The city's deputy chief building official, Dan Lunardi, says work is taking place daily to clean the building. The power is temporarily back and elevators are running.
“I think I understand everyone's frustration here, but there are certain steps that have to be taken," says Lunardi.
Four orders from the city remain in place.
"Occupancy will not be allowed until we can confirm it's safe by a variety of professionals," says Lunardi.
Lunardi tells CTV News the contractor and insurance company are waiting for a report from an industrial hygienist, which isn't expected until Dec. 13. That would be more than one month after the fire.
“They are working diligently to get this up and running," says Lunardi.
Tenants are advised to contact a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant disputes.
A group of residents plan to gather this weekend in a closed session to discuss their needs privately. The meeting is set to be held at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. All residents are encouraged to attend.
A GoFundMe Page has also been launched by the same group of residents, hoping to raise money to help offset the costs endured by displaced residents.