Senior Scared Rent Hike Will Put Him On The Streets

A Windsor senior fears he and his wife will be out on the streets in a few years after his rent jumped by 5% - an increase the Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation says is necessary.

Peter Litwin received a letter about the increase from $599 to around $628. The 72-year-old has lived in the one bedroom apartment with his wife Susan for the past 10-years and doesn't have the extra money on his fixed income.

He tells CTV News, with the fear of more increases on the horizon; he and his wife don't know what to do. "It's driving me up a wall, I can't sleep. It's going to put us out, we don't have the money, we're paying $628 right now," Litwin says.

Having been paying the same rate for so long, it's hard for Litwin to imagine why they would raise the price. "Ask me what I'll do, I won't be here, we are gone and I don't know where. We have no idea where we are going. We are scared," says Litwin. "A person that's been living in an apartment this paying rent and all of a sudden to be told can't afford this apartment anymore and you have to go out, how could you do that? I'm going to do all I can to get this down."

Community Housing COO Kirk Whittal says it was a tough decision coming to the 5% increase, but rent has to cover the cost of keeping the building in good condition - unlike a regular landlord, the organization also has to cover operating costs.

Whittal also pointed to a substantial increase in the property's assessment and says community housing can't rule out any more increases. "We are going to evaluate this as we go through the year.. see what costs really come to then we will make a recommendation," he says.

Litwin has arranged a meeting with city officials to discuss the issue further and possibly receive a break.


With files from CTV Windsor