'We're out on the street with nowhere to go', City evicts tenants from building with sewage
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 1:13PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:17PM EDT
Officials in Windsor have acted on an order banning occupancy of a building in the city's core plagued with sewage in the basement.
The building department gave notice to four tenants at 555 Dougall Ave. on Monday the four-unit house would need to be evacuated by 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
The notice came after an 'unsafe order' was issued by the city on Friday.
The building's owner, Zixi Wang, failed to comply with the order, leading to the 'Occupancy Prohibition Order' being enforced by the city on Tuesday.
"We're out on the street, with nowhere to go," says Randy Mitchell, one of the tenants.
The city says the building has a number of safety concerns, chief among them a deficient private sewer flooding the basement in sewage for the last several months. The tenants also claim there are cockroaches and even mice in the basement.
"We have three feet of water in the basement," says Mitchell. "It's human sludge from the shower, toilet and everything else."
The landlord, Zixi Wang, tells CTV News she's tried to remedy the problem and has eviction notices on a pair of her tenants in an attempt to empty the building to allow the necessary work to happen.
The city's manager of inspections, Rob Vani, says the city continues to work with the landlord to bring the building back into compliance.
Vani adds the city hasn't ruled out pumping water out of the basement and pursuing its options in court.
Mitchell is confident he will find a solution through the Landlord and Tenant Board but he is looking for a place to stay.
"Now I'm going to be living in somebody's backyard or on the street until I get money on Thursday to go to a motel," says Mitchell. "If not, I'll be living on the street until I get enough money to go to a motel."
Wang, who lives in the Greater Toronto Area, is glad the city is taking action. She hopes it will make it easier to have the necessary repairs made.
"It's not safe for people to live there, I would agree," claims Wang. "I tried to pump out the water, three, four times and spend emergency pumping you know how expensive it is? I've spent $3,000 to $5,000."
The city will meet with Wang in court on August 12.