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‘Where are they going to go?’ begs daughter as 91-year-old mom’s home sold from under her – 200 others are in same boat

ONE woman out of 200 senior apartment building residents about to lose their homes is speaking out amid the chaos.

Joyce Dodge, who lives in Ontario, Canada, is scrambling to arrange a new home as she faces eviction from her Chartwell Heritage Glen apartment.

Resident Joyce Dodge, 92, has lived at the complex for 20 years and relied on the stability it provided amid a growing housing crisis in the country

Dodge’s daughter, Karen Santaguida, is fearful for her mother as the complex is now doubling to tripling the cost of a unit

Chartwell Heritage Glen Retirement Home in Canada is closing leaving hundreds of seniors scrambling to find homes

The apartment-style retirement home has decided to close up and transition into private apartments for the greater public.

Dodge, 92, has lived in her one-bedroom apartment for 20 years, enjoying the security of a place to live as a housing crisis rages on.

Now, she and her 200 neighbors are being thrown into the breach as they search for new accommodations.

To make matters worse, each resident, including Dodge, is used to their way of life. And now it’s being uprooted.

“I do my own cooking and baking, I do my own housework, my own laundry, I do my own everything,” explained Dodge to City News.

“I’m very happy here.”

And now her happiness is being interrupted.

Chartwell explained that their current business model is “unsustainable” which has led them to make their decision.

“The aging infrastructure of the buildings has made it unsustainable to continue operations as a retirement residence,” Chartwell spokesperson Mary Perrone-Lisi explained.

They plan to have a group of consultants help current residents find new places to live while also funding the cost of relocation services for current residents.

Despite the help provided by Chartwell, residents are still left distraught.

“We were all shocked everyone you look at you can see they’re worried,” said Dodge.

In Canada, retirement homes are only required to give residents three months’ notice ahead of eviction; families are saying they need more time.

Meanwhile, the retirement home turning private apartments is looking to renovate its complex before listing the spaces for rent.

Their spaces will be rentable for all ages, and some are considering staying, but the rent prices are a barrier.

It’s a death sentence.

Gordon CorkResident’s Son

“We want a lateral move. If you’re moving her I said it’s the same size and it’s the same price,” explained Dodge’s daughter, Karen Santaguida.

She says that her mother’s current rent is $1,600, but it would shoot up if she stayed.

One daughter of a resident said they are facing “double to triple the cost.”

Her mother was offered living situations ranging from $4,000 to $6,000 per month.

“There’s over 200 people in here who are in the same boat,” explained Santaguida.

“Some may be ready for long-term care but a lot aren’t. Where are they going to go?”

MORE LOSING THEIR SECURITY

Barbara Tarrant is among those being uprooted, having only moved in a year ago.

“I thought this would be my last move,” she told CBC.

“It was a shock.”

For some residents, this move is a health concern as they rely on the stability of a retirement home.

Gordon Cork explained that his 91-year-old father, who has lived at Chartwell for 11 years, suffers from partial paralysis.

“The care here has been what’s kept him alive,” Cork said.

“He’s so close to the end of life, to take away all that community now, I don’t want to dramatize it, but it’s a death sentence.”

His father was devastated at the news, showing emotional distress in ways he seldom has throughout Cork’s own life.

“My dad is the toughest, most stoic man I’ve ever met,” Cork said.

“I heard when he understood the gravity of the situation, he cried.”

ITS A CRISIS

Seniors being uprooted by the complex’s development are facing a countrywide housing crisis.

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national advocacy group for seniors spoke to CBC about the current climate.

“What we have seen of course is that where you have a backlog of more than 40,000 people in Ontario waiting for long-term care, many people of course are forced into this private pay system,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts of CanAge.

“What that means is that the providers of retirement home services are now having a very frail, very old resident population.”

She said that seniors in Canada are largely reliant on retirement homes for housing.

“When a retirement home closes, it’s not just like a regular tenancy,” she said.

“[Seniors] also losing their care providers.”

Ward 9 Councillor Martin Reid has been studying paperwork, hoping to stop the development; but, there is nothing he can do so he is switching gears.

“My first priority is the residents and making sure that we have no seniors that are homeless,” he told Insauga.

“This is heartbreaking.”

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