Residents Heated Up as Cornwall Housing Nixes Window Air Conditioners MAY 21, 2015

Jamie & FitzyCORNWALL Ontario –   As many regular CFN viewers know, we don’t just cover the news, but we become active in a story and have been known to advocate for our community.

I was alarmed and disturbed to hear from several residents of Cornwall Housing units who have been threatened with termination of their leases over the new Air Conditioning policy.

Any window units placed above the ground floor are now in violation.

Peggy Fulton from Cornwall Housing spoke with CFN citing two incidents of units falling from windows, but all residents are forced to purchase renters insurance which usually includes at least $1,000,000 in liability coverage.

The tenants also pay their own electricity.   The are being offered zero interest financing for six months to cover the purchase of portable units, but these run for nearly four times the cost of your standard window unit.  Families have as many as three or four units.   One resident shared that they bought two of the portable units, but when both were on their breakers would flip off.

Could Cornwall Housing’s board forget the financial demographics of their clients?  Many already own their window units.  Should they really be forced to purchase new ones?

 

Here is the insurance document from Cornwall Housing.

ch insCFN phoned other area housing agencies and in Ottawa for example tenants have to go through a process of asking permission to place an air conditioner in a window, but that is a process and essentially in Ottawa they simply give instructions on the process and include brackets.

CH ac 1

Here is an interesting piece about units falling in NYC.  It should be noted that NY’s population is a lot larger than Cornwall’s and has many more tall buildings per capita.

For Cornwall to have two units fall in one year is an issue, but this policy is clearly not the answer as we’ve seen days of over 30 degrees C in Cornwall this May alone.   It becomes a health issue, especially for Seniors.

I emailed Ms Fulton with the following:

Hi Peggy,

I am going to officially ask Cornwall Housing to temporarily halt your Air Conditioning Policy for 90 Days starting June 1, 2015.
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At that point I’d like Cornwall Housing to take feedback from its residents and the community at large regarding your policy which many find punitive and a health concern, especially for seniors.
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If you don’t want properly installed air conditioning units then it is up to Cornwall Housing to provide reasonable alternatives.  We’re talking about seniors and some of the weakest people in our society.  The stress alone that many are feeling now is not acceptable.
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In our chat this morning you mentioned financing, but frankly those on fixed incomes don’t have a spare $500, $1,000, or more if they need multiple units, even with zero financing.
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I would also like to make a presentation to your board next week on behalf  of some of the residents and community on why this absurd policy which doesn’t exist in Kingston or Ottawa nearby needs to be revised before someone gets sick or dies.
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Thank you,
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Jamie Gilcig  

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The board of Cornwall Housing meets next Thursday.  In the meanwhile you can contact the three city councilors that sit on its board, Elaine MacDonald, Carilyne Hebert, and Brock Frost.    Ms Hebert and Ms MacDonald have not responded to email query.  (Mr. Frost has asked Cornwall Police to keep me from contacting him with valid questions about issues such as this.  Rather than fight with our officers of the law I am just going to share this so poor Brock can’t say he wasn’t asked. )

emacdonald@cornwall.ca

chebert@cornwall.ca

bfrost@cornwall.ca

Some common sense solutions would be for AC units to be inspected to ensure proper installation.

If Cornwall Housing feels $1M liability isn’t enough in Ontario then perhaps a group rider or group insurance policy that tenants that wish to have AC units could pay a fee for spread out over the renters?

Hopefully the board will embrace the need to focus on overall safety.  Far more people die of dehydration and effects of heat each and every year than by falling air conditioners.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  Is this freaking nuts or what?  You can post your comments below and please sign our petition.

We will be updating this story as more information becomes available.

UPDATE

Our Petition module is having an issue and not displaying signatures. We are resolving to solve this problem.  Please sign as they are being recorded in the database.  We apologize for any confusion.

(Please note the petition updates every few hours so your signature will not appear instantly)

 

We the undersigned ask Cornwall Housing to Rescind Its Current AC Policy.









[signature]


5 signatures

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29 Comments on "Residents Heated Up as Cornwall Housing Nixes Window Air Conditioners MAY 21, 2015"

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jules
Guest
Jamie I had a good laugh when you said that NYC’s population is larger than Cornwall LOL LOL. ROLF! There are many small cities with populations much bigger than Cornwall and Ottawa is 1 million people and NYC is at least 10 million if not more. Holy Cow you need help Jamie. Cornwall is very backwoods like the Appalachians. LOL LOL. ROLF! Many renters do not have insurance and that is stupid but those low renters cannot afford the insurance. We pay insurance here in Ottawa and we paid while in Cornwall as well. We had one of those window… Read more »
Furtz
Member

You never know when an air conditioner will fall out of a window and end your life while you’re walking down a sidewalk.

Chris
Guest
I have been finding Cornwall Housing to be very constricting with Low Housing renters and at times extremely rude. The fact is renters have rights and many times Cornwall Housing managers seem to forget that fact. The idea of not only having to buy insurance to cover each apartment liabilities but then to be forced into extra costs that many of the renters can’t afford if unfair and against the law. The fact is if your not destroying the apartment or failing to pay your rent should your landlords be able to just kick you out surely it wouldn’t be… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest
That is very inconsiderate of CAHC. If the renters have insurance I don’t see an issue. Renter’s insurance is fairly inexpensive, $20 to $40/month depending on several factors. Those “portable” AC units are anything but portable. And I find they do not do a very good job at all. We’ve had them on two occasions. AC is not needed in Canada? That’s news to me. Fans are okay, but all they do is push the air. If the air is warm or hot then you get warm or hot air pushed at you.
Carl
Guest

it’s only nuts till the air conditioner falls on someone head,then everyone would agree with the policy. So before this happens,it should be a no brainer.

Tanya Alguire
Guest
This is getting ridiculous. First off, people live in housing for a reason. We can’t afford these portable units. Also, housing says there and no water reservoirs to empty with them and that they can be moved from room to room which is not the case. These portable units even come with a special hose to empty the water reservoirs and in the manual it explains how with a bowl or bucket. But if there are people who don’t know how or who are listening to housing saying there is no reservoirs and a water leak problem occurs than housing… Read more »
jules
Guest

I can see what the woman at Cornwall Housing Authority is talking about and when we owned our house we also had liability insurance but we don’t have that kind of thing in our present tenant insurance. The owner of our building has a huge sign outside of the parking garage saying that he is not responsible for damages and losses. If an AC happens to fall on someone then the town is liable. I fully agree with the woman at Cornwall Housing.

Hugger1
Guest

Some of the newer “portable” AC units do not have water reservoirs.

jules
Guest
No AC’s are not essential at all here in Canada and if you want to know what real heat and humidity is go to the southern US during the summer, to Sydney Australia and such places including my husband’s Lebanon and you will know what real heat and humidity is all about. My daughter went to visit my husband’s nephew in Los Angeles back in 1994 and they didn’t have AC and she lived through the heat very well back then. All you need to do is to take a shower and you feel refreshed. We cannot BBQ on balconies… Read more »
Kimberley
Guest
*Jules* If your rights, any one of them.. were to be hindered tomorrow, you would be fighting it.. or at the very least ‘questioning’ it! In this case, it is our Rights as Tenants being pissed on. WE PAY OUR RENT. WE FOLLOW THE RULES. and we should have the right to CHOOSE if we want to have air conditioned homes OR not! This stigma that comes from living in so called ‘Social Housing’ is ridiculous! So because you are Cornwall’s down & out, needy, single moms & dads, the working poor, the disabled or elderly and you’ve been so… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

Very well put Kimberley.

And to those who think AC isn’t needed in Canada I say “pfffffffffffft.”

jules
Guest
Kimberley I have rented many places in Cornwall “FOR MARKET VALUE” and whether you pay the full rent or the one geared to income or low income housing you are never free. When we owned our home in Cornwall in the north end we weren’t free either there was always problems with neighbors. When we rented in a few low rise buildings in Cornwall our problem was mainly with “management” who had their entire family working there and we were so mighty quiet like we are here in Ottawa but the racism was something else and I wish that I… Read more »
Dawn Ford
Guest

It seems the winter would have been a better time to solve this problem instead of now when the hot weather is upon us. Dehydration is a big problem for vulnerable people. Surely the air conditioners can be put in the windows safely and inspected, so there won’t be any problems. I live on a high floor of an apartment building, windows facing the west. It gets the afternoon and evening sun and it is HOT. Fans do nothing, so I need an AC, as do others even higher up.

Hugger1
Guest

Free…..oh to be free!!

Kimberley
Guest

‘Just be thankful you have a roof over your head’
Don’t stand up for what’s ‘right’, shut up & just follow the herd.

Furtz
Member

I happen to be one of those people who have a high tolerance for heat, and indeed enjoy the hot weather. But I know a lot of people who suffer badly when the temperatures go up. It’s not just a comfort issue. It’s also a health issue.
Are their any stats available re the numbers of Cornwall residents injured or killed annually by falling air conditioners?

jules
Guest
Our apartment faces south and we get full sunlight and the heat and are on the top floor of a highrise building. If we were below we would feel the heat even more and we like the heat except for my daughter who has hypothyroid. Thyroid runs in my husband’s family and two people in Sydney Australia (husband’s family) afflicted with the disease and their heat in Australia runs into the 50°C and higher and they don’t use AC. We use fans here when it is hot (Canada is not that hot) if you go to the southern US or… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

As the tenants pay their own electricity and have renter’s insurance I don’t see what CAHC as a problem. If the AC units are properly installed what is the issue? They (CAHC) could do as Ottawa has done; have the tenants ask for permission, then have the window units inspected (which would take perhaps 2 minutes) to be sure they’re properly installed and anchored. To me this is CAHC just trying to push people around because they are in social housing. If this isn’t an issue in Ottawa and NY why is it an issue here?

jules
Guest
Jamie I understand fully well what tenants are going through and it isn’t the tenants fault at all whatsoever. If you know about insurance which I know you sure do the insurance companies jack up peoples insurance at every whim. When you own a house the insurance company wants to know what your house is heated with, if you have central air, a heat pump and all kinds of things that I would be going on like the bunny on the Everyready battery. Cornwall Housing most likely is being strangled by the insurance company and they have to go along… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

Landlords seeking revenge on tenants who talk? Say it isn’t so.

jules
Guest
Jamie I have something here for you and for the people who read your paper. I want to show you what is going on here in Ottawa in my area of the city. I live not far from these apartments and townhouses but on the other side further east. I was inside both the high rise apartments and a few of the townhouses and they used to be owned by Minto. When the older folks of Minto died the children inherited them and let these places go to waste. These apartments have sunken living rooms and doors separating the rooms… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

The video doesn’t exist.

And if it’s Heron Gate those units have had problems for years. The problem with cockroaches is they have to fumigate ALL the units, not just the ones the bugs are visible in. If you don’t do all the units in a townhouse row you don’t get all the bugs and they reappear. The same goes for apartment buildings.

jules
Guest
Hugger you are absolutely right on. For years Heron Gate has had problems with bugs and mold and yes the only way that you can eradicate the problem is to spray all units. The bugs will go from one unit to another if this is not dealt with. In past years when we lived in Ottawa those townhouses and apartments were inhabited by some of our executives in the federal government, our friend Penny and her husband lived there after they sold their house and then bought another. Today the place is not good at all. I went downtown with… Read more »
jules
Guest
Jamie I signed the petition. Jamie Hugger said that the video doesn’t exist and I don’t know if I copied it right or not. I go by the title when I want to find something in google. The problem in Cornwall is minor compared to what things can be. We went through Heron Gate today as well as through Ottawa Housing and things are a great deal worse here than in Cornwall. Hugger is from Ottawa and knows what is going on. Folks Heron Gate is a huge complex and you can bring it up by typing in the title… Read more »
Hugger1
Guest

There are many areas in Ottawa that are have more than their share of gang and other activity. A few are: Caldwell Ave., Dumaurier Ave., , parts of Britannia, parts of Hintonburg, etc.

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