Tenants on streets after building code upgrades at downtown Oshawa building not done

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Published October 16, 2023 at 10:27 am

82 simcoe south oshawa

A downtown Oshawa apartment building has been boarded up and its tenants left homeless after the building owner failed to make required fire code improvements.

Building inspectors at the 95 year-old apartment building at 82 Simcoe St. S. discovered numerous infractions after a fire last spring, with the property managers, ACCL Property Management, given six months to make the required upgrades.

Those improvements were not made and the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office, with the assistance from Durham Regional Police, evicted the tenants Monday morning.

Much of the chatter on social media has been about the criminal elements inside the building and there is a lot of truth to reports of crack dealers and fentanyl use inside the apartment building, which has deteriorated badly since the onset of the pandemic. But there are also people residing there with no ties to illegal drug activity who are now looking for places to live.

Photo Sean Heynemans

One man on the third floor who has lived there for 24 years without ever missing a rent payment had to scramble to pack up some of his belongings and his three cats and was on the street in front of the building for several hours Monday before being moved to a nearby church and eventually, a hotel.

Oshawa Councillor Rick Kerr said the building is “currently unsafe” and will re-open for residency after building and fire code irregularities can be brought up to code. He also assured this reporter the tenants will be “taken care of” but the majority of the leg work in obtaining temporary housing has been done by friends of those affected, with temporary financial help from Social Services.

Calls to ACCL Property Management have so far gone unanswered.

With funding for the temporary hotel stays likely running out by the end of the month the hunt for permanent lodging for the displaced tenants begins today.

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