Michelle Erbe is looking for a home for her young family after the ceiling in her rented home collapsed last week and the building was condemned. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Young Cowichan family looking for new home after rental condemned

Old home condemned after ceiling collapse

Michelle Erbe was shocked and frightened when she woke up early Friday morning with her bedroom ceiling collapsing all around her.

Erbe, her two children Jace, 6, and Asher, 2, had lived in the rented house on Marsh Street in Duncan, along with a tenant and his aging dog, for about a year.

She said the house has had air-quality issues, and problems with vermin and leaking, for some time, so authorities from WorkSafe BC visited the home soon after the ceiling collapsed and condemned the building.

With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, the Ministry of Children and Family Development paid for Erbe and her young family to stay in a motel for a few nights, but now she has to foot the bill herself, which is difficult as she’s on disability due to her diagnosis of having stage-three systolic heart failure.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN COUPLE FACING WINTER IN UNINSULATED TRAILER DUE TO LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

“We were told to leave the house immediately and we’re not even allowed to collect some clothes for my children,” Erbe said on Monday.

“I’ve spent the last two days trying to find somewhere else to live, but I’m not having much luck.”

Erbe said she’s hoping to find a three-bedroom home, one bedroom for her sons, one for herself and one for her tenant and his old dog, and can pay no more than $1,500 a month.

“I don’t care where it is, as long as it’s in the Cowichan Valley,” she said.

“We can’t collect anything from the condemned house so we also need winter clothes for my kids and for myself.”

If anyone can help Erbe and her family, she can be reached at 250-710-1088.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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