At stake is a local Apartment complex in the Heart of the City. Many of the tenants of the 150 or so apartments are seniors most of whom when they sold their homes didn’t want to buy a Condo or go into a retirement home. Next door to the East Court Mall, near the hospital and walking distance to so many services they fear that Panoramic Properties wanting to turn the units Condo is a threat to their lives.
A group of them attended the PAC meeting tonight and were represented by Mr. Etienne St. Aubin. A lot of condos have been built of late with more scheduled to be built in Cornwall. It’s definitely a trend and while not the same issue as it is in Ottawa, Toronto, or Montreal there has been a lot of units converted including the 75 units on Race street.
Councilor Andre Rivette pointed out that there are over 800 people looking for housing in Cornwall and that if we want to raise our population we need more rental property available, not less.
No numbers have been provided as to exactly how many apartments are for rent in Cornwall or how many of them are sub standard. We’re told that the vacancy rate is about 4% so that there technically isn’t a shortage.
The company, while not proposing anything sinister, and having no evidence of abuse of tenants did submit this email to Mr. St. Aubin which was submitted to us ” Creating controversy over a non-issue which could potentially jeopardize my client’s application is not acting in their best interests because failure to obtain condominium approval will in turn lead to less financial flexibility for my client to ensure continued maintenance of the complex in the future.“
Those certainly don’t sound like the words of someone who is placing a great deal of concern for their tenants.
I can understand the positions of the Councilors who voted for this; especially as even if Council votes this down the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) can overturn their vote and allow the building to go Condo.
To me and I’m sure many of the 175+ residents of the complex that signed the petition to the city it’s the future that counts; of seeing their friends and neighbors die off or become sick only to see the units changed and sold off to the highest bidder.
In other news of the night The Port Theatre received a $2050.00 grant through the Heart of the City grant program and The Shoppers Drugmart Shopping centre on the grounds of the the old Brookshell site received their planning go ahead.
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