Local relocation

Summer 2018

Language Barrier 

What happens to the people when the whole community must evacuate?

People who live in the community which is about to change should be provided with the resources that they can understand. We need to be aware of what is happening to people’s emotional and physical health when they do not understand the resources they are provided.

They need to understand not only the idea of what is happening with their community; they need to understand what will happen to them and their families when the whole community will be disintegrated.

The easiest way to explain it is to include simple visuals into the resources.

Companies involved in the scenario below have done a good job providing a lot of materials to their tenants in advance about the plans for the future of the housing they live in.

Unfortunately, there was no graphics included in any of the materials. There was a whole lot of text to read. That created unnecessary extra stress and chaos which could have been prevented.

In the core of happiness of every human being are 3 factors:

  1. Home – where will I live?
  2. Work – what will I do?
  3. People – who are my people?

Most people immigrating to Canada face the fear of the unknown.

They have everything to lose. They leave their own country, and everything familiar to them to start a new life in a place that they will have to accept as their new home.

The fear of the unknown can be intensified by the lack of communication skills.

Knowing ahead of time where they will be living, where they will be working or who can give them a helping hand on arrival, can reduce that fear. The same applies to move from one place to another within the country.

Having a hard time letting go of the life that you’re used to, but may not necessarily like, is understandable. An example of that is a recent demolition of the old Timbercreek Communities townhomes in the city of Ottawa. Because of the condition the townhomes were in, the residents were given 4.5 months to evacuate. The majority makeup of that community were immigrants. For most of the tenants, those townhomes were all they knew here in Canada. Their neighbours were the people to go to, many of them with the similar circumstance.

Despite Timbercreek Communities’ excellent Relocation Program, many people were faced with a lot of anxiety – they felt that were losing pretty much everything just to start new again.

Why would they want to move to a new location, lose their neighbours, friends, their children school without a good reason? Even if the new location may be better and not very far away, the answer probably would be – No.

Most people don’t like relocating. There must be a good reason, a plan and a feeling of security.

The Timbercreek Communities created a plan that allowed it’s residents to move with a sense of security, instead of a sense of loss.

That is an inspirational creative thinking behind that plan. That is a collective vision that other communities could draw from.

No matter how good the plan is, it takes a long time for an average person to adapt.

The Timbercreek Relocation Program included:

Relocation Resources

  • Engaging community support and support agencies to offer aid to their residents.
  • Provided information in several languages Relocation agent assistance to help search for a new home
  • Visiting residents individually to discuss the next steps

Relocation Compensation:

  • 4.5 months notice
  • 3-months rent
  • $1,500 for moving and miscellaneous cost