City Responds to Needs of Displaced Residents
City of Windsor staff and support agencies continue to support residents at 245 Detroit Street. A Prohibition of Occupancy order will go into effect tonight at midnight due to unsafe conditions, which means all residents must vacate the building by that time.
City of Windsor staff from a number of departments, outreach workers from Family Services Windsor-Essex, Welcome Centre Shelter staff, and other local agencies have been on site daily, meeting one-on-one with residents, assessing their needs, helping with alternative housing placements, and directing some to the Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4) for housing-search assistance and other services.
“We continue to offer individualized supports to the tenants of 245 Detroit Street in several different areas,” says Debbie Cercone, Executive Director, Housing, Homelessness and Children’s Services. “This includes not only finding alternative accommodations for those who have been displaced, but also providing information on other services they are able to access to provide resources for daily needs.”
An Unsafe Order was issued July 8, 2021, due to the lack of life safety systems, working fire alarms, functioning heating and ventilation systems, and a potable water distribution system to the entire building. The Ontario Building Code Act is a Provincial Act that obligates the Chief Building Official to take all necessary action to ensure public safety with regards to both residential and commercial structures. The Prohibition of Occupancy order that takes effect at midnight also requires the building owners to properly secure the building and ensure measures are put in place to prevent access.
“We have been in contact continuously with the owners on this property since the Unsafe Order was issued,” said Chief Building Official John Revell. “With the building scheduled to be unoccupied, it’s our hope we can begin to work with the owners to make plans for the future.”
While some tenants have found new accommodations on their own, the City and community agencies continue to support those still requiring help. As the building has been ordered closed and secured, tenants in need of additional assistance should attend the Homelessness and Housing Help Hub (H4) at 400 Wyandotte East. Services are currently available 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.