Guelph woman with intellectual challenges evicted from longtime home

TORONTO — It was moving day for Wendy Fuller. But not by choice.

She was evicted from her apartment where she has lived for more than a decade. She’s moving to temporary housing alone, without her beloved cats.

The situation appears to be the result of multiple system failures, and a problem with paperwork.

Fuller, who is developmentally disabled, was on the Ontario Disability Support Program. As a result her rent was subsidized, so she only paid $130 a month.

When Fuller got a part-time dishwashing job at Cora restaurant, she had to show her pay stubs to her ODSP worker and prove her income to remain on disability.

That was fine until Cora switched from paper pay stubs to electronic pay stubs and direct deposits about three years ago.

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“She had no skills to figure out how to do it,” said Patti Wheeler, Fuller’s friend.

With no paper pay stubs, Fuller was cut off from disability support.

No longer subsidized, her rent shot up to $800 a month.

In the meantime, she needed a credit card to buy an app for her iPad. She went to the Royal Bank, where she says staff helped her fill out an application.

She walked out with a $10,000 line of credit and a credit card. When Global asked what her limit is on her credit card, Fuller couldn’t answer.

She said that Fuller lived off the credit card and line of credit, which are now maxed out, and she’s $8,000 dollars behind on rent.

Fuller claimed she didn’t even have representation at a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. The end result was an eviction notice.

“The Royal Bank is a criminal, a criminal action I think, and her social worker at community living was the worst,” said Wheeler.

Fuller admitted she should have done more to ask for help. But now it’s too late, leaving her angry and sad.

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Wheeler said now that Fuller that is out of social housing, she has to repay the $8,000 outstanding before she can get back in and face an eight-year wait list.

Both the local Community Living office and the Ministry of Community and Social Services said they can’t talk about a specific case, but insist their workers do keep an eye out for situations like this one.

In an emailed response, the Royal Bank said they are looking into the incident and will work with the client on a resolution.

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