How you can help Ontarians keep their homes this winter

November 22, 2020

For much of the year, our homes have been our whole worlds. It’s where many of us worked, shopped, had Zoom calls with friends and family, and helped our kids get through math class. While some Canadians were adjusting to doing nearly everything from home, others were suddenly facing the possibility of losing theirs through a traumatizing life event – eviction. 

Two million Ontarians lost their jobs or their income when the province went into lockdown. At CCHR, we have fielded countless stories of how this has affected the ability of people in our communities to pay their rent. 

Like Sebastian, who fell behind on rent after suddenly losing his job in April. He called CCHR in a panic when his landlord told him to pay up or immediately move his family out.

Or Jin, who was laid off in May and was terrified by a threatening eviction notice. She didn’t understand the law and didn’t know where to go for help, until she found our hotline.

Then there’s Ana, who faced the impossible choice of feeding her kids or paying her rent after her work hours were cut in half. Paralyzed with fear and anxiety at the prospect of losing her home, she called CCHR in desperation just the day before her eviction hearing.

Fortunately, our case workers were there to take Sebastian, Jin and Ana’s calls, informing them about their rights, how the eviction process works, and connecting them with legal assistance, financial aid, and counselling services.  

We field calls from dozens of people in similar circumstances each month, guiding 90% of them to a positive outcome. In the past two months, the number of people we’ve heard from has doubled, overwhelming our capacity to respond. We are now deeply worried we won’t be able to help hundreds more keep their homes as the pandemic carries on. 

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