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Smiths Falls mom scrambling to find 'non-existent' affordable, wheelchair-accessible housing before May's end

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the mom of one find a home that is suitable for wheelchair access.
20210428_courtney preach
Courtney Preece with her son, Grayson. (Photo/GoFundMe)

The clock is ticking for a Smiths Falls mother, in her search to find a new home for her and her son.

Courtney Preece uses a wheelchair because she’s paralyzed from the waist down, and that has made her home search challenging.

“Everywhere that I’ve found is up a flight of stairs, down a flight of stairs, multiple level homes,” she tells CityNews Ottawa. "When it is wheelchair accessible, it’s $2,200 [a month], which is so out of my price range — that’s more than I get a month just for rent.”

Compounding the accessibility issue, her monthly disability payment for rent is just $781. But friends and family have rallied, and launched a GoFundMe page to help her pay for wherever she ends up.

But Preece says hers is a symptom of a much larger problem.

“Affordable housing is non-existent, but affordable accessible housing it’s nowhere — you can’t find it. There needs to be a change for everyone, not just me.”

Preece’s landlord sold their house, so she and her son have to be out of her current place by the end of May.

The two are still searching for their next home.

As of Wednesday evening, the GoFundMe has raised over $22,000 of its $30,000 goal. 

Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter at CityNews Ottawa. He brings about two decades of experience in news, with stops in Halifax and Toronto.
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