Thursday, April 29, 2010

One mother's eviction story makes news in Toronto

The story of mother's possible eviction from her apartment is receiving the attention of the media in Toronto.

Bsra Nor had unemployment insurance benefits taken away from her by the Toronto city government, so she is unable to afford her rent. Her husband lives in the states and is not supporting her financially. Social service advocates are storming city hall to plea Nor's case before she gets evicted.

From Rabble, writer John Bonnar describes Nor's situation.

Bsra Nor’s payments were stopped at the beginning of April after Social Services told her the week before that she no longer qualified for Ontario Works because she is married, even though her situation had remained unchanged since she started receiving benefits almost a year ago.

“I told them from the beginning that I’m married and at my six month interview when I went to update everything was okay,” said Nor. “My husband is not supporting me financially, but now social services wants my husband to come in and sign documents saying that we’re a family.”

Nor was married in Toronto but her husband resides in the United States, where he is still applying for sponsorship to live in Canada.

She said that once the sponsorship process has begun it is illegal to try and enter the country. But without his presence, Nor has been told she can’t continue to receive social assistance.

In the meantime, Nor’s landlord has told her that if she doesn’t pay April’s rent before the end of the month she has to vacate her unit.

“He’s been nice to me for waiting for the last month,” she said. “I don’t know where to go.”

Nor’s mother, who sponsored her eight years ago when she first came to Canada, has a small home and six children living with her. So there’s no room for Nor and her 10-month-old baby boy.

If she were single, Nor said she would couch surf until she can find something permanent. “But since I have a kid I cannot do that,” said the 21-year-old.

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