People are rallying around a Toronto mother and son threatened with eviction
Neighbours are helping Theresa De Mesa and her son Anthony fight an eviction that could displace them from the building that's been their home for the past three decades.
But according to their property manager, the eviction is simply a matter of health and safety.
Standing with the longtime tenants of 1251 King Street West, a group of residents put up posters this past weekend to encourage others to rally against the eviction notice given by the landlord, Nuspor Investments.
A Facebook post by the Parkdale Organize group read: "Michael and Martha Lax of Nuspor continue to threaten her with eviction in a transparent attempt to remove long-term tenants from their building. But on this day, and every other day, Theresa's neighbours in Parkdale are standing with her."
🌻 On this Mother's Day we are thinking of our neighbour Theresa at 1251 King. Michael and Martha Lax of Nuspor continue to threaten her with eviction in a transparent attempt to remove long-term tenants from their building. But on this day, and every other day... pic.twitter.com/Bm03R5XsYw— Parkdale Organize (@ParkdaleOrg) May 9, 2021
The posters asked anyone reading to give the landlords a call to "let them know that harassing Theresa and Anthony with hearing after hearing at the LTB must stop now," offering their personal home number.
The community group was quick to jump in to support the elderly single mother and her dependant son after helping organize a long rent strike at the rebranded Waldorf Tower back in 2018 when Nuspor applied to raise rent nearly double the legal guideline in Ontario.
People in the building responded by collectively withholding rent and organizing a series of direct actions that ultimately forced the landlord to cancel the rent increase.
The dedicated group of neighbours is now hoping for similar results when it comes to saving the De Mesa family from being evicted.
Parkdale Organize says on Twitter that Nospur has been trying to evict the pair for years over allegations of overcrowding and clutter in the unit.
Property manager Vito Simone says they've been working to find solutions for them to stay in their apartment since 2006, moving belongings to a storage unit more recently. He says the situation has now become unworkable.
"Over many years we have determined she is unable to maintain safety standards, we are unable to control pests in her apartment and other residents have asked for her removal," Simone told blogTO. "For her safety, and the safety of the residents in the building, we, unfortunately, have had to take action."
Fellow tenant of the Parkdale highrise, Parmbir Gill, has been part of fighting the eviction against the De Mesas and says the community won't be stopping anytime soon in their battle against COVID evictions.
"Theresa and Anthony are more likely to get COVID-19 if they're evicted. That is unacceptable. Our neighbours' lives matter more than the profits of our landlord," Gill told blogTO.
"They are disabled, live on fixed incomes, and cannot afford market rent anywhere in or near Parkdale. They will very likely become homeless if they're evicted. As their neighbours, we cannot let that happen."
A request for comment BlogTO left for Michael Lax at the Nuspor offices was not returned.
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