Blog | March 30, 2012

Housing society gives 81-year-old 2 weeks notice for breaking rules

By Andrea Sands, Edmonton JournalEDMONTON An 81-year-old woman with health problems that require home care and weekly chemotherapy shots is being evicted from her subsidized seniors apartment.An eviction notice delivered two weeks ago says Eva Makowichuk must vacate her apartment suite in the Ukrainian Dnipro Senior Citizens Home, at 11030 107 St., by noon Friday.The Dnipro-Selo Housing Society runs the seniors home that is subsidized by provincial money to keep rents low.The eviction notice accuses Makowichuk of "bullying" other tenants and breaking newly introduced building rules when she met for tea with other tenants in a common area. A notice two weeks ago from management says the common area can be used only for exercise and English as a second language classes until mediation meetings designed "to get to the bottom of all the fighting that is taking place in our building" are complete.A representative with the management company could not be reached for comment.Makowichuk and four other upset residents met Thursday in her apartment suite. Makowichuk said allegations she bullied other tenants are not true and she will not move out. Makowichuk said she and other residents have complaints with how the complex is managed."Let them take me to jail . It's not valid, I feel. Really, even if it was valid, to give me two weeks' notice (to move), I just couldn't do it. To find a place and to pack, I just couldn't."Makowichuk's doctor has written a letter supporting her efforts to remain in her apartment, citing "chronic medical conditions" that would make moving out "a threat to further deterioration of her health."Makowichuk should send a letter appealing the eviction to the management company, said Alberta Municipal Affairs spokesman Jerry Ward.If the company decides to fight her appeal, the dispute must go to a hearing under the Residential Tenancies Act, Ward said.The situation should not have escalated to an eviction notice, said Bill Moore-Kilgannon of Public Interest Alberta. Every building housing seniors that gets public funds should have an independent council to handle disputes "before there's a crisis situation. These are systemic issues. "The province needs an independent seniors advocate who can help seniors navigate increasingly complex housing issues, said Carol Wodak of Continuing Care Watch, which monitors elder care in Alberta."It's outrageous that this should happen," Wodak said of Makowichuk's eviction.By Andrea Sands, Edmonton [email protected]

This article was published in the Edmonton Journal on March 30, 2012. Read the full article on the Edmonton Journal website.