Moise Tudor went on hunger strike for 27 hours to protest the City of Windsor’s affordable housing services, but he wouldn’t give up.
Tudor, 62, lives on $53 a month after his accommodations eat up most of his monthly income through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
Although Tudor was considered a priority for subsidized housing, he said he waited months and felt the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation was unreliable in helping him find shelter.
Tudor said he will not be on hunger strike since Wednesday morning. He told CBC News that he did not eat from 7pm on Monday to 10pm on Tuesday
But his protest did not stop.
“I’m going to be here to show that I’m not happy,” Tudor told CBC News, standing outside the Central Housing Registry on Dougal Avenue.
“These are not fair deeds and I will stay here as long as my body lasts.”
He said he wanted to know how long it would take to get housing and that he was aware of vacant subsidized apartments in the city.
Until he gets more answers, he will stay in front of the Central Housing Registry, but the housing corporation says they can’t help beyond that.
In June, 6,300 households in Windsor-Essex applied for affordable housing, according to the city.
There were 477 high priority housing applicants and 419 homeless people.
In an email, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation spokeswoman Cary Schofield said the organization spoke with Tudor to better understand his situation.
As for the wait time residents like Tudor face, Schofield said the timeline for housing someone depends on a number of factors, including location preference, family size and housing availability.
“More people apply for subsidized housing than there are houses or apartments available,” Schofield said.
She added that vacant units are expected as people can move in or out and the corporation will take time to renovate the units.
- WATCH |Tudor talks about leaving his job and lack of answers from Housing Corp
‘I think he has priority’
Last year, Tudor said a cancer diagnosis put him out of work as a truck driver for a long time. During his treatment, he started receiving money from ODSP and CPP.
Combined, the programs bring him $1,758 a month, he said. But Tudor said he couldn’t afford his expenses and eventually lost his apartment.
In April, Tudor said she applied with the city’s Affordable Housing Corporation. According to Tudor, the organization prioritized him.
But when he contacted the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation in August, he said he was told the application could not be found, that it had been filed under the wrong name and was not prioritized. The company refiled another application.
For the past few months, Tudor said he’s been renting a room at the Budget Inn Motel for $55 a day. He said it was the cheapest he could find in the city, but after he paid the bill, all he had left to spend on food was $53.
“Who on this planet can survive on $53 a month?” Tudor said.
During his cancer treatments, Tudor had part of his colon removed and now lives with a pouch that he has to keep clean. But he said it was difficult to do without limited income and stable housing.
He said he couldn’t even save the first and last month’s rent needed to get an apartment.
In December, Tudor’s friend and pastor, Bill Mureson, said he had been sleeping in his car and since then, he has occasionally paid for his housing and fed him.
“He didn’t ask for anything else, the bare minimum … for him to have a place and a bath and his own calling,” Muresan said.
“I know it’s hard to get housing, [but] On the other hand, I know there are priorities and I think he has a priority.”
Affordable housing ‘not keeping pace’ with demand
According to United Way Windsor-Essex County Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Goddard, the latest census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday shows a “huge increase” in housing costs.
Goddard said there are fewer people with inadequate or unaffordable housing, some of them due to income support being provided due to COVID-19.
“We know that affordable housing is not meeting the need of our community,” Goddard said, noting that the United Way found that people spend more than 50 percent of their income on shelter.
She said the housing crisis is a “ticking time bomb” that relies on short-term solutions such as providing income support while people wait for the affordable housing stock to grow.