October 31, 2023
Montréal, le 31 October 2023. The CACV is shocked to learn that the borough of Verdun has issued an emergency evacuation order to a 69 year old senior citizen victim of renoviction. Monday evening, Li Rong Qiu received a 72 hour emergency evacuation order after her landlord removed the heating system from the building.
Since Yan Ohayon bought their building earlier this year, Mme Qiu and the 11 other households of 300 Rielle have faced immense pressure to leave their homes. Ohayon told the tenants that if they did not sign lease resiliation agreements the city would evacuate them within 24 hours and that they would not receive indemnity. The speculator began major work that shook the building. CACV workers intervened as tenants were frightened by the noise and the smell of gas. On February 23rd the CACV contacted the city and it was confirmed that no such order existed and that the building was safe to live in. CACV workers then met with speculator Ohayon on site, who explicitly told a worker that if they were to talk to the media “there would be a problem”. The building included seniors, single families and students. Since the pressure tactics began, all but one of the 11 units of tenants have been pushed out. The speculator has since pursued his major work without issuing any legal notices as stipulated by the law, unilaterally removing the heating equipment from the building under city’s observation.
Mme Qiu, a visible minority, senior citizen and long term resident of Verdun, is now alone in the building as winter approaches. She is at risk of homelessness, as the borough of Verdun has given her just 3 days to find a place to live, despite community organizations signaling the serious case to them 9 months ago.
The CACV condemns these obvious and vicious tactics, aggravated by the issuance of permits from the borough that would clearly compromise tenant’s ability to stay in their homes. The removal of heating equipment is part of a broader strategy to compel the tenant to terminate their lease, and the borough continues to be complicit in its inaction in terms of introducing proper bylaws to protect tenants. Mme Qiu’s daughter, Betty, adds “ Yesterday, the City informed me that, citing confidentiality concerns, they are hesitant to inform my mother about the removal of the heating system observed by a city inspector in May, as they fear a possible lawsuit from the landlord. This lack of action further worsens my mother's situation and regrettably prevents us from taking legal steps to prevent the emergent evacuation.”
The CACV has released several memoires since 2020 with clear recommendations to the city to counter renoviction. These recommendations have gone ignored, despite a vacancy rate of 0,8 % on the territory and an alarmingly low social housing rate of just 4% in Verdun. The organization maintains that the borough enact an immediate moratorium on all non-urgent permits that can lead to eviction given the state of emergency in Verdun.
For information: Lyn O’Donnell, community organizer. 514-769-2228 ext 103
Full memoire 2023 : https://www.cacv-verdun.org/.../memoire-moratoire-permis.pdf