Archive for the ‘UPDATE – Fred in the Media’ Category

Update – Fred in the media

August 23, 2008

Fred’s story has been in the Ottawa Sun, the Ottawa Citizen on the CBC website ( The Ottawa Sun will do another story on Fred this coming week.

Fred was on the CFRA show “Nick at Night” on Saturday, August 23rd. Steven Wittenberg, Sue Clark-Wittenberg’s husband was also on the call in show. Steven is a supporter of Freds.

Fred in the Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday, September 16th

Sit-in held to support evicted man

Tony Spears, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A handful of demonstrators staged a sit-in at Ottawa Community Housing to protest the continued homelessness of Fred Timms, who was evicted from his apartment in March.

Mr. Timms, who is blind, wants to live in his old Ramsay Crescent building or move to nearby Regina Towers.

“We’re not getting anything tangible (from Ottawa Community Housing)” said advocate Jane Scharf. “They’re still dragging their feet.”

Demonstrators staged a sit-in at Ottawa Community Housing yesterday in support of Fred Timms, above, a blind, homeless man who was evicted from his apartment in March for having too much clutter.

picture taken by Jean Levac, The Ottawa Citizen

Demonstrators staged a sit-in at Ottawa Community Housing yesterday in support of Fred Timms, above, a blind, homeless man who was evicted from his apartment in March for having too much clutter.

A 16-year resident of “Ramsay,” Mr. Timms ran afoul of the corporation after a fire marshal’s inspection deemed his two-bedroom apartment a fire hazard for being too cluttered.

At a mediation hearing last December, Mr. Timms agreed to move to a bachelor apartment in Regina Towers on March 15 and to get rid of most of his possessions.

Mr. Timms had been making progress when he was evicted March 1 after a surprise visit from the fire marshal.

The ordeal has left him dependent on the hospitality of his friends and “mentally and physically exhausted.”

Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing, would not comment on Mr. Timms’ case for privacy reasons, except to say the housing corporation is working to find a solution. She said that, as the landlord, it is liable for any safety violations.

“It’s because we feel compassion that we’re working so hard with our community partners to see if there’s a solution that can be found,” she said.

Ottawa Community Housing is also reluctant to give anyone a room without first ensuring the tenant has proper support from community groups.

Mr. Timm feels he already has support.

If he’s housed anywhere else, “there’s my prison,” he said.

Ms. Scharf said that if Ottawa Community Housing won’t house him by October, the demonstrators would consider starting a tent city on the office’s front lawn.


Fred in the Ottawa Sun, Tuesday, September 16th

Pressure on OCH to find blind man home


Protesters overtook Ottawa Community Housing headquarters early yesterday, vowing to stage a sit-in until a permanent roof can be found for Fred Timms, a 56-year-old blind man who claims OCH CEO Jo-Anne Poirier has reneged on a promise to find him suitable accommodations.

Timms was evicted from an OCH apartment after 16 years last March for hoarding too many possessions, which, he was told, was a fire hazard.

Since then, he has bounced around between different friend’s homes, but his options are wearing thin. With no place to go, he and his supporters felt the sit-in was a last resort to pressure Poirier into placing him into another OCH building.

“I was under the impression she was going to move on this pretty quickly. I can’t wait very long,” Timms said. “We had a meeting in May, then we had one in August and still nothing has happened. I’m sure they can cut through the red tape. I’m getting sick physically and mentally and I can’t take any more.”


Timms said a mediated agreement positioned him to move into another OCH building on March 15. While he was in the midst of storing what possessions he couldn’t part with before the move, a surprise inspection by the Fire Marshal scuttled that plan, he said.

He was evicted two weeks after that inspection.

The past six months have been hell, he said.

“I’m getting so frustrated with the whole mess. I don’t care if I go to jail today,” he said.

But Poirier said complicated situations are not always as they appear. While she wouldn’t comment directly about Timms, citing privacy laws, she did say that if someone were to be evicted after a mediated agreement, the reason would most likely be because the tenant breached conditions of the agreement — in this case, that would mean Timms still had too much clutter in his apartment when the Fire Marshal visited.

“We, as the landlord, have to be sure the conditions have been met,” she said. “We want to know if the tenant can get in and out of his apartment. If there is extreme hoarding with things from floor to ceiling, that answer is no. We work with the Fire Marshal for safety.”


Fred was in the Metro Ottawa News on Tuesday, September 16th

Homeless man wants answers after eviction

September 16, 2008 05:07

Homeless for the past five months after being evicted from Ottawa Community Housing, a man moved into the lobby of OCH offices briefly yesterday, hoping to step up pressure to get resettled in a new apartment.
Fred Timms was evicted last March from an apartment he lived in for 16 years on Ramsey Crescent after the fire marshal deemed his stuffed quarters a fire hazard.
Timms admits he had too much stuff and was working to clear some of it away before moving into a smaller apartment in Regina Towers when he was evicted following a random inspection.
Since then, he has been living with friends while attempting to get reinstated in housing.
“I’ve been all over the place,” said Timms. “I just can’t take it anymore.”
Timms said he could not afford to live in private housing and is not willing to move in with someone. He said he is not asking for his old apartment back, but wants to know if and when OCH will offer him a new apartment.
Ottawa Community Housing CEO Jo-Anne Poirier met with Timms briefly in the OCH office lobby, but was not able to tell him that news.
“We no longer have a legal relationship with that individual. We are in fact a past landlord, but understand how important these issues are,” she said. “We are working very closely with our community partners to see if there is a solution that can be offered to the individual whether it’s with OCH or with another provider.”

If there is no solution by Oct. 2, Timms is planning to set up a tent outside OCH offices and live there.


Fred in the Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday, August 26

Here is the article in full text

Pack rat’ continues housing fight

Liam Casey, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An admitted “pack rat” who has been homeless since he was evicted over fire code violations in March met with the Ottawa Community Housing Corp. yesterday in an attempt to move back into a social housing apartment.

“We’ve agreed to the next step, which will hopefully provide a solution. We are committed to pursuing all of our options (with Fred Timms),” said Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing.

Mr. Timms lived at Ottawa Housing’s Ramsey Crescent apartments until he was told to move from his two-bedroom unit into a one-bedroom apartment on Regina Street. While he was sifting through years of collected items, he was visited again by housing officials and a fire inspector and subsequently evicted.

“I did have too much stuff in there, I know, but I was dealing with it,” he said. “I was packing it up, getting it organized to move and that was when the fire marshal came. There are other apartments that are worse than mine, but (those residents) are still in their apartments.”

Mr. Timms began hoarding about five years ago when his eyesight deteriorated, a situation that was made worse by the death of his mother and a close friend and his son’s moving away. He is legally blind and has also dealt with depression and anxiety, which have manifested themselves in the need to hoard.

“All they have to do is shuffle a few papers and I would be in an apartment somewhere. Regina towers, Ramsey, somewhere,” said Mr. Timms, who lived in the Ramsey Crescent apartments for 16 years.

Mr. Timms has been staying with friends, at the Salvation Army and sleeping on the street since the spring. His personal belongings are packed away in two 10-by-10-foot storage units.

Mr. Timms and his supporters plan on holding a protest today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ottawa Community Housing, 1065 Ramsey Cres., but he was also hoping to again meet with an intermediary beforehand in a last-ditch effort to find a viable solution.

“I will not back down — I want to live in an Ottawa Housing apartment,” he said.

Media – Thank you for your support! It is very much appreciated.