Uncertainty for an Ottawa family affected by the explosion in Orleans
Aimée Nzaba and her husband, Désiré Ndongo, have been accommodated in three different places since the explosion.
An Ottawa family has been living in uncertainty since their new home was damaged in the explosion in Orleans on February 13. It asks to be compensated for the additional costs generated by the postponement of possession.
Aimée Nzaba's family had planned a special evening to mark her first night at their new home, located on Idyllic Terrace in Ottawa's Orleans district.
Ms. Nzaba is a hospital nurse who has worked throughout the pandemic, while her husband, Désiré Ndongo, is self-employed and helped design this second house, which is more spacious than the first. They were due to receive the keys to their new home on March 1 and planned to camp in the master bedroom that evening with their two boys.
It's our way of celebrating. x27;event: the four of us sleeping on a duvet and eating junk food, says Ms. Nzaba.
But everything changed on February 13, the day of the explosion in the Orleans district. Since then, the family has been in a difficult period of uncertainty, she says.
An aerial image of damage from the February 13 explosion. The house that Aimée Nzaba and her family bought is circled in green.
According to police and court documents, that was the day that 35-year-old Kody Crosby allegedly stole water heaters from two residences on Blossom Pass Terrace, just steps from the new home. of Ms. Nzaba.
Police say the suspect, who was known to authorities to have trespassed on other Ottawa construction sites in the past, left the natural gas line open. The resulting explosion injured several people and destroyed many homes in Minto's Avalon Vista housing development.
Kody Crosby faces charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, arson and breaking and entering. He is due in Ottawa on Thursday.
But the court process is of little concern to Ms. Nzaba. The latter is rather worried about what will happen to her house. The family does not yet know the extent of the damage. The Minto Company told him it would take longer to complete the residence and pushed back the takeover to May 10.
Ms. Nzaba's family have been accommodated in three different places, including with a member of her parish, since her former home has been sold and her belongings are in storage.
Ms. Nzaba confesses that asking for help was not easy.
“Every family has its problems. We also have our pride.
I can not imagine the anxiety that comes from being moved, in addition to not knowing when we will be able to return to your house, reacted the municipal councilor of Orléans-Sud-Navan, Catherine Kitts.
According to a memo from Minto that she was able to consult, there would be about sixty uninhabitable houses, which were to be the subject of a transfer of ownership in the weeks following the explosion. Among them, 25 are said to be severely damaged.
Since the family has not moved into their new home, their insurance policy has not yet taken effect.
In the days following the x27;explosion, she asked Minto to be reimbursed for unforeseen costs, such as the need for prolonged storage.
February 17, the day before that the explosion is considered criminal by Ottawa police, the company called the event an unavoidable delay, in an email seen by CBC.
Désiré Ndongo, during the visit to his new house, last year, before the explosion.
Minto expressed his sympathy for the family and offered to put them up in one of his rental apartments. But an unavoidable delay does not oblige the manufacturer to provide compensation for delay, according to what explains a representative of the company. This would force Minto to overstep commitments made in the purchase and sale agreement, he wrote. He adds that Minto should be fair to all owners.
Minto typically won't compensate you for an unavoidable delay, says Nadia Condotta, a Toronto lawyer specializing in real estate disputes.
Last Friday, Ms. Nzaba and her family received an update from Minto, in which it was stated that the evaluation of the houses had started on February 21, after receiving clearance from the police.
The company said it would offer goodwill compensation for households in the most extreme situations.
This concerns owners who were due to take possession within six weeks of the explosion, and whose residence will require work causing delays of more than six months.
Although the circumstances of the explosion is a perfect example of exceptional conditions causing an unavoidable delay, and the situation does not qualify for late payment compensation, we voluntarily offer an amount similar to that which would be paid if the delay was attributable to the builder, the company said on Friday.
Minto says an amount of $7,500 will be paid to Ms. Nzaba's family after possession.
A vehicle from a security company was posted in front of the entrance to the site on Sunday.
Mr. Ndongo still wonders what level of security Minto provided at the site when the explosion occurred.
The company was questioned on this subject by CBC, but it preferred not to answer. She instead redirected the question to Ottawa police who returned the buck to Minto.
This is a legal matter for the authorities, Minto said in a written statement. We will not comment further on this at this time.
On Sunday afternoon, two vehicles from a security company were posted outside the entrance to the new Avalon Vista development, according to CBC. At least one surveillance camera was visible north of the entrance.
Minto Communities Canada President Brent Strachan again declined to provide further information on site security, Sunday.
We know how important the occupancy date is to households planning to move, he said. Currently, we assess every home under construction, which includes an additional inspection by a structural engineer.
Our team is also working with its suppliers to expedite the replacement of materials [.. .]. We are focused on building [the new neighborhood], so residents can move into their new homes, Strachan adds.
With information from Guy Quenneville, CBC News