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Demolition of three affordable housing buildings in Moncton could force tenants into homelessness

WATCH ABOVE: The sale and planned demolition of three rooming and affordable housing buildings in Moncton could force some people into homelessness at the end of this month. Shelley Steeves brings us their story.

The sale and planned demolition of three rooming and affordable housing buildings in Moncton could force some people into homelessness at the end of this month.

“Where are we (going to) go — all these people there — it’s not just me and her,” said Daniel Roy.

Roy lives with his girlfriend in one of three multi-unit unit homes on Highfield and Gordon Streets in Moncton. He says he can’t afford to move into a new apartment and may be forced to live on the streets due to a lack of affordable housing in the city.

READ: ‘It pushes them away’: Decline in rooming houses impacts affordable housing options in Halifax

The previous owner of the units, Harold French, told Global News that all three properties have been sold to Ashford Properties.  The company confirmed that the sale went through at the beginning of November and the units are being torn down in early December.

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The news is disheartening for Roxanne Rupps, with the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Commitee, who has been been handling calls from panicked tenants and is now frantically trying to help them find affordable housing.

“It’s frustrating. I know that they are beyond disrepair and they are not safe and you don’t want anyone to have to depend on that,” she said.

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She says plenty of people have no other option but to live in rundown rooming houses in the city because there continues to be a significant lack of affordable housing.

WATCH: New Brunswick looks at addressing province’s affordable housing problem

New Brunswick looks at addressing province’s affordable housing problem
New Brunswick looks at addressing province’s affordable housing problem

According to the City of Moncton’s assessment for housing needs completed in June, there are more than 1,500 people on a waiting list for subsidized housing in greater Moncton.

“It’s really becoming hard to find a place for these people to go at the current moment,” said Rupps.

She says the need for subsidized housing is expected to increase in the future.

WATCH: Moncton trying to stay ahead of possible affordable housing crisis

Moncton trying to stay ahead of possible affordable housing crisis
Moncton trying to stay ahead of possible affordable housing crisis
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People living in the units have few option because shelters in the city are already running over capacity, according to Cal Maskery from Harvest House Shelter.

“We had 25 men last night and four or five women that are here and if anyone else comes in, we are down to mats on the floor,” Maskery said.

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Rupps says more details on Canada’s national housing strategy are expected to be released later this month. She is hopeful there will be federal funds available to help the city subsidize or build more affordable housing units that are desperately needed.

But that help is months or years away and the tenants in Moncton have only two weeks left and are running out of options. She’s calling on landlords in the community to contact her if they have affordable rooms or apartments for rent.

 

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