'There's no water at all': Riverplace resident's ongoing struggle
WINDSOR, ONT. -- On Friday, attention on the unsafe living conditions at the Riverplace Residence came to a head with city officials threatening to order a closure if repairs to water and fire services were not completed.
Running water was flowing on Friday, but it did not last long.
"There’s no water at all. No hot water. No cold water," says Riverplace resident, John Bradley.
Bradley moved from what was known as tent city to Riverplace nine months ago.
"We moved here under a lease of two years, we were supposed to be here. Ever since we came here we’ve had nothing, but problems from the management company as well as the landlord," explains Bradley.
Water was restored on Friday, but by Saturday the service was gone.
"We were cleaning up the bathrooms and the hallways, mopping the floor. Getting it to where it should be. Now we have no running water," says Bradley.
Mihael Thiele the lawyer representing the property owner alleges in a statement;
"In early morning hours of Saturday (overnight) someone (some people) turned off the water and they removed/stole the actual water line to the building.
The estimated cost to repair again (what was just repaired less than 24 hours before) is $4000 to $5000. Vandalism and theft like this has been happening regularly. We don’t know "who" did it and no one is coming forward with information. Sometime overnight the recently repaired water pipes were stolen...and the cost to replace them could be five thousand dollars."
The City of Windsor's' inspection team, along with social services and housing attended the building Monday morning to offer relocation services.
"Social services went door-to-door inside the building and provided handouts to the tenants as best as they could available for questions to help tenants if they need different accommodations and just to provide support in general,” says Revell. “Our focus for right now is again at least for the building department is the water and for social services, it’s being available to assist those who reach out and want some assistance."
However, River Place residents like Bradley say they don’t want to be relocated.
"The city came today and they want to put us in the Salvation Army, downtown Mission," says Bradley. "A lot of us, we won’t survive there. A lot of us are banned from there.”
“I’d like to see either repairs or they need to be rehomed into comfortable places. Shelters is not an option for these people. There is a mix people in here, it’s not just tent city," says Ashley Shepley from Windsor Community Connections group.
"They may not be optimal to them for what they want to do, but there are options available," says Revell.
Now, the property owner is calling for a permanent police presence to prevent further damage and is proceeding with the eviction process.
"It’s getting to be ridiculous. Put us all in a shelter, split us up again. We are all family," says Bradley.