Local landlords with vacancies are being called upon to help homeless Bel Marine residents on a temporary basis.
In February, dozens of residents were forced to vacate the retirement facility as a result of health and safety violations which rendered it unfit for human habitation. Bel Marine was issued orders under the Fire Safety and Building Code for not meeting standards.
Since then local landlords have been stepping up to help homeless tenants.
“This is a tragic situation and we couldn’t just stand idly by and do nothing,” said the president of the Quinte Region Landlord Association Robert Gentile. The association is now urging all local landlords with vacancies to accept the displaced Bel Marine residents. Gentile said that out of the 250 landlords involved with the association as members or subscribers, he is hopeful some will step forward.
Belleville City Councillor Garnet Thompson chairs the Community and Human Services Joint Committee said 20 residents require housing.
“The hotel rooms are cramped and unsuitable for these individuals, many of whom are in wheel chairs, have disabilities, and require assistance
from support workers” said association member Todd Theissen. Fellow QRLA member Steve Xu agreed and added “It’s very sad to see what these elderly folks are going through so we decided to try and help in some way.”
“If we can find more suitable, comfortable, spacious accommodations, it will buy these residents more time to find spaces in local retirement homes and remain in their own community,” explained Gentile. “Otherwise they may have no choice but to relocate to other parts of the province where there are retirement home spaces. That would be a shame because this is their home area.”
Garnet commended QRLA for its efforts and agencies like Meals On Wheels that are providing meals for the residents daily.
He added as he understands it no work is currently being done at the Bel Marine site.
Landlords with vacancies wishing to help should contact the Quinte Region Landlord’s Association through its website www.quintelandlordsassociation.ca or 613 707-3879.