Residents of 650 Parliament have rental assistance extended for 6 months

Toronto residents displaced by a fire at 650 Parliament Street in August will have a rental assistance program extended by another six months, the building’s management said Friday.

“Management announced that its current resident assistance program will be extended through April 2019,” the statement read.

The announcement came after residents protested Monday against the property manager’s original Nov. 30 deadline to have residents leave their temporary rental accommodations.

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Mayor John Tory also spoke out against the deadline and said the landlord has a responsibility to care for displaced tenants.

Fifteen-hundred residents have been displaced from their apartments since a six-alarm fire destroyed electrical equipment throughout the building on Aug. 21.

Some residents have been staying with family and friends since then, but about 175 families are using hotels as accommodation with some of the bills being covered by the owners of 650 Parliament.

However, some displaced residents have spoken out against unexpected bills they have incurred while staying at the hotels.

Management also announced Friday that residents will not be able to return to their apartments until at least April.

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“Current assessments of the repair work required to safely re-occupy the building suggests a construction time frame of another six months, at a minimum, before residents will be able to return home,” said Danny Roth, spokesperson for 650 Parliament.

Previously the building said residents would be able to move back sometime in the spring of 2019.

Management is now allowing residents to cancel their leases without penalty.

Residents who do so will be given $5000 to help with relocation, as well as $2500 for furnishing, management said.

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