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Mississauga votes for relief for residents left homeless by deadly neighbourhood explosion
Mississauga Mayor and Council decide to offer a grant to cover the City’s portion of property taxes for those displaced by June 2016 explosion.
March 1, 2017
Hina Alam

The city of Mississauga has approved a plan to support residents left homeless by a June 2016 explosion that killed two and flattened a neighbourhood.

At a general committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors voted to give residents near the Hickory Dr. explosion a grant equal to the property taxes they have paid while displaced from their homes, according to a news release from the city.

“That’s great,” said Mira Lewandowski, a resident of the area who has been living with her family since the explosion. “Good to hear.”

The decision is a relief to the displaced residents, she said.

“We did what was right,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in the release. “I’m proud of my council for their compassion during what is truly an extraordinary situation.”

Dozens of residents have been homeless since June 28, 2016, when an explosion levelled 4201 Hickory Dr. and seriously damaged several other homes.

The explosion killed the owners of the house, Robert Nadler and Diane Page, and injured nine others, leaving the site looking like a “ghost town,” according to residents.

Late last year, Peel police said the explosion was the result of a suicide pact.

In the weeks and months that followed, frustrated residents tussled with insurance issues, delays in repairs and issues of everyday life made more difficult by being out of a home.

“We’re anticipating getting keys to our unit in the next week or two,” said Lewandowski, whose house facing Rathburn Rd. was damaged in the explosion. “But that does not mean we’re ready to move in. It means we’re ready to go in and do work.”

Lewandowski is among the first group of residents scheduled to go back home in May.

Residents of two blocks of homes closer to the explosion, which were more severely damaged, cannot move back at least until September, she said.

“I cannot wait,” Lewandowski said.