'I was utterly in shock': Families on social assistance asked to leave Dartmouth hotel
DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- Some families on social assistance say they are scrambling to find a place to live as the hotel where they have been staying ends its housing agreement with the Nova Scotia government.
Rebecca Sparks is one of about 20 people who have been told they need to leave the Travelodge in Dartmouth, N.S., by noon Friday.
“Basically he said this is a hotel, not an apartment building, and now that the busy season is coming up, there’s no need for their contract with social services because they have a bunch of hockey teams coming in, so now we’re nothing,” says Sparks of the hotel’s general manager.
Mikki Rhyno, who has five children between the ages of one and nine, says a note was posted on her door Wednesday.
“I was absolutely floored. I was utterly in shock. I don’t know what to do,” says Rhyno. “I bawled my eyes out. I’m already displaced out of my home.”
Andrew Moore, the hotel’s general manager, sent this statement to CTV News:
“The Travelodge Dartmouth has come to the decision to end our dealings with Community Services. All guests with reservations due to depart on this coming Friday February 21st 2020 have not been extended for further stay. Community Service case workers had been informed of this earlier in the week to be able to reach out to their clients. To the best of our knowledge reservations have been made for all the departing guests at other hotel properties in the city."
Nova Scotia Community Services Minister Kelly Regan says case workers will reach out to the families and work with them to ensure they have other accommodations, but some people said Thursday that they were still looking for shelter.
“In the middle of winter, the shelters are full. They’re full to capacity,” says Sparks. “It’s people’s lives.”
Meanwhile, NDP MLA Susan LeBlanc is pointing to a bigger issue related to affordable housing and rent control, especially in the Halifax Regional Municipality.