Mississauga tenants still displaced 2 years after flood

A group of Mississauga tenants displaced after a flood more than two years ago still don’t know when they’ll be allowed to return home. Caryn Ceolin with the legal loophole that’s let repairs drag on.

The water came rushing into Hazel Thomas’ unit on a summer night in 2021.

The roof of her Mississauga apartment building had been under construction when half the structure flooded during a storm. The rain revealed asbestos, destroying residents’ possessions, and forcing them into shelters or the homes of family and friends.

Displaced residents say repairs to their units at 2111 Roche Ct. still haven’t been completed by the landlord, and their seemingly simple question remains unanswered: When can they go home?

In the wake of the flood, Thomas and her son moved in with another son, who rents a unit in the same building. Both sons have been sleeping on the couch ever since.

“I’m their mother but they need their space back and I need my space too,” said Thomas.

Her husband, who has dementia, had been living there as well, but the crammed living situation caused his illness to worsen.

“He got sick being in this environment but he’s in a better place right now,” Thomas told CityNews. “I’m thankful because being here is not the right place for him to be.”

Marcia Bryan, a member of the national anti-poverty group ACORN, said the flooding of the older building stems from negligence and ongoing issues with plumbing and other infrastructure.

“There’s no accountability,” Bryan said. “The landlord is saying it’s [the responsibility of the] city, and the city is saying it’s the landlord, so they’re going back and forth with this, and the tenants are in limbo.”

The Peel chapter of ACORN has been organizing tenants in the building to put pressure on the city and the landlord to ensure they can move back into their homes.

A building permit for the necessary renovations was issued in 2022. Legislatively, construction is required to commence within one year of permit issuance.

“Based on our records, construction is ongoing and progressing and has undergone a number of inspections to date,” said City of Mississauga spokesperson Irene McCutcheon in a statement. But “the rate of construction progress or completion is outside of the City’s influence.”

Thomas has seen construction materials dropped off inside her damaged unit, but fears her family faces several more uncertain months of renovations without any timeline or move-in date from the building’s administration.

“I can’t afford to [move out] because places are so expensive,” she said. “I wish I could just to be free from this situation, but I can’t afford it.”

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