NEWS

Family still not home after ice storm -- 10 months later

10/31/2014 06:00 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST
Martine Paroyan and Jhon Perez and their children have not been in their north Toronto home since before last winter's ice storm.

It started as a temporary move when a frozen branch severed their power line. The family spent Christmas at Paroyan's mother's house. Then, on Boxing Day, a fire broke out next door and destroyed the semi-detached home.

In the 10 months since, the family has moved three times and Paroyan had a baby — all while waiting to return to their home.

The couple says they lost "everything."

They expected to be out of their home for five or six months, Paroyan said. "We thought it would be fine."

What's the hold up? After the fire, the property was deemed too unsafe to enter. The family had to wait for their neighbours to start construction on their side.

"We're really at the mercy of our neighbours, since we can't begin to rebuild our home till they start on their end," Paroyan said.

The other problem has been insurance. After a back-and-forth with their and their neighbour's insurance representative, Paroyan wrote to the Premier Kathleen Wynne. 

She was then directed to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which regulates insurance companies. They got a response earlier this month, but there were no specifics on when they can begin construction.

The couple wants the province to put a time limit on how long insurance companies can take to approve reconstruction, so others in semi-detached homes aren't put in the same position. There are roughly 153,000 semi-detached homes in Toronto. 

Their advice is to others in similar situations is to call FSCO as soon as possible, which they think that might have helped them move things along more quickly.

The family hopes to return home by summer 2015.

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