The North Star


Stationview Apartments Sold to Mystery Landlord

Impending Eviction Threats Stoke Concerns in Guelph

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The Stationview Apartments at 90 Carden St. Guelph, Ontario have been sold to an unknown buyer. The 4-story, 60-unit property, which listed for $8 million officially sold on March 8, 2023.  Tenants are uncertain about the security of their housing situation and believe that they will be evicted by the new owner. With nowhere else to go, many of them are concerned about winding up on the street in a city already facing both a major housing and homelessness crisis.

The building had been listed for several months prior to the sale. During this time, the City of Guelph declined to purchase the property and convert it into affordable housing for tenants, many of whom are already receiving municipal or provincial assistance. 

When asked by North Star why Guelph refused to buy the building, Nathan, a tenant, answered that "they're too cheap, the stigma of the building; they don't realize 90% of the people in this building are really good people, some of them have addiction issues, but it's the 10% that bring in the bad [...] a lot of bad that happens is usually from outside people that come in."

Evictions would put substantial strain on the shelter system in Guelph and Wellington county. "Shelters can't take us, there's not enough shelters. The church that feeds us won't be able to keep up with the extra meals. Between the roughly 150 residents that live and probably equal another 150 that couch hop from place to place that's another 300 homeless in this city, and the city can't handle that." 

Under previous ownership, tenants lived, and continue to live in squalor and disrepair. In one case there were "4 leaks in my apartment, I have a hole in my living-room ceiling, like a one square-foot hole in my ceiling, and I haven't had a fridge for a year, over a year." another tenant, named Jack, explained that; "There's bedbugs everywhere, there's cockroaches everywhere, there's mice everywhere- it's absolutely insane. [...] I set up a tent under the bridge by the highway and so I stay there whenever I can't handle the craziness here." 

The Guelph Mercury Tribune has reported that there is no clause in the sale that stipulates tenants must vacate. Despite this, some tenants have already been offered money to leave, while others, like Jack, were informed by the previous owner to start looking for a new residence:

"First he asked what unit I was in and he said 'OK well I'm letting the good tenants know that it has been sold and that it would be good to find a place sooner rather than later that way you're not all trying to find an apartment at the same time.' I thought that was really not cool because you should let everybody know at the same time regardless of reputation." 

The purchasing company cannot legally evict tenants outright, yet they may apply for an AGI (Above Guideline Increase) via the Landlord-Tenant Board to recuperate renovation costs, security costs, or an increase in property taxes. An AGI is a commonly used tool to "price out" tenants to replace them tenants who will pay increased rent. 

The City of Guelph, like the Ontario and federal governments, has directed its policies to generally support the needs of financial and corporate landlords who have turned the housing market into a lucrative investment scheme. The profits of these landlords are generally made at the expense of maintaining safe and affordable housing for large segments of the population who can no longer find or afford shelter.

In 2019, the Federal government passed the National Housing Strategy Act; legislation that affirms Canada's recongition of the United Nations declaration of the right to housing. This legislation recieved royal assent without any clause for oversight or accountability, and hasn't been applied since.

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