An inquiry was received by an individual who had received an order from Sheriff Services to vacate their home within two days as a result of a previous decision by Residential Tenancies. The individual’s main concern when contacting this Office appeared to be that they were having difficulty with Income Assistance.
After discussing the issues with the caller further, the Ombudsman Representative agreed to facilitate contact between the individual and their caseworker as the caller was having difficulty with their telephone and could not reach their caseworker to discuss requests for funding. Further, the Ombudsman Representative provided several referrals, so the caller could develop a plan in the event the eviction took place. These referral sources included a local shelter, animal welfare groups for placement for their pet, the Dalhousie Social Work Clinic, and a legal information organisation.
This Office also followed up with Sheriff Services regarding the order and there appeared to be a lapse in time between when the order was issued and when it was served, which limited the time available for the individual to make arrangements for housing and storage of their possessions.
Sheriff Services advised they would not execute the order immediately and provided additional time for the individual to pack their belongings and secure alternate housing. The individual was subsequently contacted by their caseworker and, based on their circumstances, received funding for moving expenses and storage for their property. This additional time and funding provided the individual the opportunity to pack their belongings and develop a plan for alternate housing.