Health centres call for action on Ottawa rooming houses
A new report finds bugs, broken plumbing and heating problems in some of the city's rooming houses.
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Two community health
The Somerset West Community Health Centre and the Centretown Community Health Centre wrote the report looking at the conditions in rooming houses. After interviewing tenants living in the houses, they found widespread problems and are recommending new bylaws and more rental income support.
“We have seen those broken faucets, broken
She said people who are recently homeless or in dire economic straits often have no choice and the city has to do more to improve conditions.
“For a certain segment of the population this is the only choice that they have,” she said. “These are very vulnerable people.”
While the research involved interviews with only 10 residents,
They also want to see more resources for inspections and they want the province to increase the rent supplement program.
Coun. Catherine McKenney said the people living in rooming houses aren’t able to raise these issues.
“If you are that vulnerable and you’re terrified of being homeless, you are not going to complain, you are not going to speak out," she said. "So, that is for us to do.”
She said she hoped to bring forward bylaw changes soon. She also said the city has to step up its resources for inspecting rooming houses.
“If we are licensing a rooming house we have to be serious about it.”