Several seniors face eviction from Transcona building
Published Thursday, June 4, 2015 4:58PM CST Last Updated Thursday, June 4, 2015 5:37PM CST
Margaret Glennie enjoys working on word searches in her small bachelor apartment in Transcona.
The 87-year-old woman has lived in the suite for 23 years and planned on staying the rest of her life.
But now instead of looking for words, Glennie will have to start searching for a new place to live.
"It breaks your heart. Everybody was crying. It's sad," said Glennie.
She's one of nearly 30 tenants who got an eviction notice at the end of May telling them to leave by September 30.
The building’s owner, Widlake Properties, plans to demolish the 26-unit apartment building and construct a new 100-unit complex in its place.
Board member Pete Sanderson said current residents will be first on the list if they want to move back.
"No matter how we count it, it's difficult for them,” said Sanderson. “If we gave a year’s notice or two years notice it's still difficult."
Sanderson said tenants were aware a new building was coming but residents still feel betrayed.
That’s because Widlake was going to complete the project in two phases to provide a temporary place for them to live during construction. Now, that’s not going to happen.
"I'm angry I'm frustrated but more than anything I'm looking at people who've lived here 28 years and they're over 85 years old and 80 years old and where the hell are they going to go?” asked Widlake tenant Marianne Mosser.
Sanderson said the cost of building in two stages was prohibitive.
“It would’ve reduced the number of units we could build,” said Sanderson.
“We've decided to go with one building at one time with a full demolition and the residents will be out of their home a minimum of one year, possibly longer, depending on whatever delays happen during construction."
Sanderson said it'll cost $800 per month to rent an apartment in the new building but current residents said they simply can't afford that.
"Right now for a bachelor suite in this apartment, the rent is $316,” said Mosser. “We have residents who have to have rent assistance now for that."
Widlake Properties has hired SAM Management to help tenants find new homes but there's no guarantee they will be able get a place for everyone.
Margaret Glennie said her only option may be turning to family for a place to stay.
"I'm sure my children would say, ‘Mom, you can't sleep outside,’” said Glennie “But I am that person (who’s) not going to be a burden on my children."
Widlake Properties still hasn't set a firm date for demolition but said it could happen any time after Oct. 1.