Calgary mom, newborn evicted from 'adults-only' manor
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She's been a mom for mere days, but now Lenora Belanger is facing the daunting task of finding a new home.
The 28-year-old has been informed by resident managers at Calgary's southwest Colonial Manor that the building is "adults-only," and she must be out no later than Tuesday — the actual day little Faith Belanger was expected to be born.
After going through labour Thursday, Lenora said she's not even able to help pack boxes, relying heavily on her 63-year-old mother Elaine Belanger to co-ordinate a temporary move into a relative's place.
"We were only asking for another month," she said. "There was nothing available in July, but we found a number of places for August."
Lenora said she, her mother and partner suffer from financial hardship. During the pregnancy, they had attempted to find a place through the Calgary Housing Company, but the most recent letter from the organization indicates they are on a "low-priority" wait list.
The Belangers and the building's resident manager Rick Gravestock provided different accounts of when the pregnancy was made clear to building management and when the expecting mother was informed of the "adults-only" rules in the manor.
Gravestock, meanwhile, said he's simply following the rules, adding the Belangers refused to pay their rent for June after learning of the eviction. Elaine confirmed that $900 is being put towards a down payment on the new place, whenever she and her daughter find one.
Gravestock said the Belangers could have gone to court to appeal the ruling, but chose not to.
"I think they've just been sitting on their hands . . . explain what I am supposed to do, just let everybody squat and live there?" he said.
Lenora, meanwhile, said the eviction is causing her anxiety to flare up — she's due back at the hospital Tuesday for a doctor-ordered checkup.
"It's been just totally stressful . . . this has been really hard on my health," she said. I don't know what we're going to do."
Susan Coombs with the Alberta Human Rights Commission confirmed landlords are allowed to run adults-only properties; however, the practice is barred in Ontario and legal rulings in B.C. and Nova Scotia have also found such regulations unreasonable.
Coombs added any changes to policy would come at the urging of an elected official and be required to go through proper legislative processes.
- A lease shown to Metro by Elaine Belanger on Monday makes no reference to not allowing children at the manor and does reference "tenant and family," multiple times.