Displaced Humber Road tenants will continue to receive help

Gary Kean
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The tenants who had to leave their homes at 27 Humber Rd. in Corner Brook have been given more time to find new accommodations.

Eight people living there were forced out of the apartment building last Friday night when provincial electrical inspectors from Service NL issued an order for power to be cut from the building.

The loss of electrical service also resulted in the sudden closure of Pho Vietnam, a new restaurant that had been operating out of the front of the building since last fall.

The people living in the building were put up in local hotel rooms by the provincial Department of Advanced Education and Skills, but had been told that help might only last until Thursday.

Paul Greene, one of the displaced tenants, has somewhere to go, but not until Feb. 27. Wednesday night, he was told he could stay at the hotel until then.

Thursday morning, the other tenants were told they could stay until at least Feb. 27 too.

“It’s still a drag, there’s no doubt about it,” said Greene of having to move.

“But (Wednesday) night was the first time I have had a full night’s sleep since all of this happened.

“At least, I can feel some relief knowing I have somewhere to stay until I can move.”

At least one other tenant has also found new accommodations. Greene wasn’t sure about what options the others have.

Most of them, including Greene have already paid their rent for February.

Greene said he won’t be returning his key to the property owner, Janet Ma, until he is able to get all of his belongings removed from Humber Road.

The Western Star has been unable to reach Ma for comment since her building had its power cut off.

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills had no one available to do an interview Thursday, stating in an email it would not be disclosing personal information about the people who may or may not be receiving assistance.

“In all cases, any emergency supports being provided to persons who require them would continue as necessary,” read the email. “In the meantime, staff with Advanced Education and Skills continue working with any individuals who might require assistance to develop a plan — keeping in mind that each person’s needs are different. Any persons requiring supports will be provided with them as they continue their efforts to move to more permanent accommodations.”

As for Thy Nguyen, the woman who was operating Pho Vietnam, she is being assisted by the City of Corner Brook’s business resource centre, which is acting as a facilitator by talking to other property owners and businesses to help her find a new location.

Nguyen, who speaks broken English, is also being assisted by a group of loyal customers who have since become her friends. One of them is Jerry George, who said they have a list of possible locations they are still investigating.

“We are still in the process of shortening that list to see what is workable,” George said Thursday. “As much is being done as I think can be done.”

Organizations: Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Service NL

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Displaced Humber Road

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