Elevator repairs, mobility issues ask for trailer stays for couples

The couple resorted to living in a trailer while repairs were carried out in their apartment building

With the elevator in their Waterloo Avenue apartment building out of order for repairs, some residents with mobility issues have chosen to spend the next few weeks living in a trailer instead of getting stuck in their unit, saying stairs are not a possibility.

Vicki Shadlock explained that both she and her partner have medial conditions that they should not go up and down stairs for, including her partner waiting for surgery on his hip.

She said they gave a medical certificate to Skyline, the building’s owner, explaining the medical conditions. Without action, they feel they have no choice but to temporarily move to a trailer, which will be moved around in several places.

“I suggested they might do a chairlift,” Shadlock said. She had asked Skyline to resolve her concerns with the elevator repairs in writing, but has received nothing.

“We fully understand that elevator modernization will cause inconvenience; however, it is the work that needs to be done to ensure the ongoing safety and comfort of our tenants, ”said BJ Santavy, Vice President of Skyline Living, in an email.

Before the repairs started on June 20, Shadlock understood that there were preliminary plans for Skyline to hold a meeting for tenants, but the meeting did not end up taking place.

In an email, a spokesman for the Ontario Tribunals explained that in the Residential Tenancies Act “a landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex in good condition, suitable for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. If something no longer works due to normal wear and tear or because it breaks or wears out, the landlord must repair it so that it works properly or replace it.

“RTA does not require a landlord to provide specific housing or lower rents while repairs or maintenance are carried out in a residential complex,” the email continued.

“We have many elderly people in our building. We have a lot of elderly people with medical problems, and we have got people on oxygen, walkers and scooters, ”said Shadlock.

The solution Skyline has is to get staff to come and go up the stairs to bring any supplies, groceries or laundry to people who cannot use the stairs.

Friends and family had offered the couple to stay in their home, but there are stairs there as well. Shadlock has reservations at Guelph Lake to park the trailer for a few nights. Afterwards, they will park it in a friend’s driveway during their vacation. From there, they have not found anywhere else with available seats for reservations.

“Right now, I feel like we’re homeless because we do not have access to our home. But we are not (without shelter). We can be grateful for that,” Shadlock said.

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