Posted April 16, 2019
Herongate ACORN members have been in a decade long fight to save their neighbourhood from the greed and neglect of landlord after landlord. From 2016-2018, Herongate’s current owner - Timbercreek Asset Management - has evicted over 180 low income, working-class families with the intention to replace their homes with luxury rentals. Yet our city is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis with 40,000 + families in core housing need and a 10 year wait list for subsidized housing. Everything within our power must be done to secure tenants’ right to housing and stop corporate gentrification.
Thanks to public pressure, Timbercreek has announced social framework commitments that include some affordable housing and rental replacements. However, there is nothing legally binding about these commitments and our members - the tenants - have a hard time trusting a developer that evicted their neighbours. That’s where community benefits agreements (CBAs) come in.
CBAs are legally enforceable contracts signed by community groups and a private developer or government agency that can result in a range of benefits such as jobs and training; community amenities, support for local business, affordable housing and other provisions. Herongate ACORN is calling for a community benefits agreement signed between Timbercreek, the City of Ottawa, Ottawa ACORN, the South East Ottawa Community Health & Resource Centre and the Ottawa District Labour Council.
When: Tues, April 16th at 2:30pm
Where: Heron Road Community Centre (1480 Heron rd)
Mavis Finnamore, ACORN leader and ex-tenant of Herongate for 30 years before being evicted in 2016, says:
“Herongate has been an issue that hasn’t gone away for a number of years and it touches something that’s near and dear to most of us and that’s our home. A community benefits agreement that actually includes community groups would be a historic agreement that would enshrine the needs and wishes of the community itself. There has been a lack of trust between tenants and Timbercreek which is why we can’t just take their promises at their word. We want to see this whole community prosper and we need concrete, legally binding agreements to make it happen. Affordable housing is a huge piece. We want to stop the shortage of affordable housing and CBAs are a way to do that, not just in Herongate but across the city.”
ACORN will be launching our campaign with the release of a report that outlines our members’ vision for their neighbourhood and a No Displacement CBA. There will also be guest speakers and time for questions for our low income leaders.