ACORN takes action to stop financialized landlords

Posted on May 19, 2022

ACORN has been fighting corporate landlords for the last 18 years. Members have won significant victories and we know that we can stop financialized landlords from destroying affordable housing with tenant power!

On May 18th ACORN members targeted Canada’s biggest financialized landlords in a National Day of Action! - Starlight Investments, Killam REIT, Boardwalk REIT and Morguard. Couldn’t join? Send a letter to the Prime Minister, the Housing Minister and your local MP. Click here

The actions kicked off with members going to the Killam REIT Headquarters in Halifax to Starlight Investments where the entire stretch in Weston, Toronto has been taken away to Ottawa where financialized landlords are renovicting 100+ tenants.

Financialized landlords transform housing into an investment product. Their goal is to extract maximum profit from tenants by raising rents, flipping units, pushing out long term tenants, not doing repairs and more! Moreover, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are getting sweetheart tax deals from the federal government. At a time when the housing crisis is getting worse, inflation is at record high and low- and moderate-income tenants are forced to make a choice between food and rent, we need the federal government to stop financialized landlords and protect affordable housing.

Join us to fight financialized landlords! Email us at organize@acorncanada.org if you landlord is one of these big corporate landlords or you are interested in joining the fight!

Here’s a brief account of the actions across cities:

Halifax: Members gathered outside Killam Properties to speak out against the REIT. Members held signs along the road eliciting supportive honks, spoke about the poor maintenance in Killiam buildings and how the corporation was destroying affordable housing. Members and tenants of Killam also delivered a letter of demands to Killam executives.

Toronto: ACORN members gathered at Weston and Church. Over the past few years, this stretch of Weston has been completely taken over by Starlight Investments - Canada’s biggest landlord. The meeting began with a speech from Kelly, a Starlight tenant. We then marched along Weston road with Marcia leading the charge. Bob and Ryan delivered demand letter to six different Starlight buildings along the route demanding they STOP driving out long standing tenants by not doing repairs and AGIs. The local NDP MPP Faisal Hassan came out to march in support with tenants. Many spectators from the community also cheered us on from their balconies. 

Ottawa: 50+ ACORN members marched today to stop the renoviction of 30 households (approximately 120 tenants) of remaining long-term tenants in Manor Village. On April 29th, tenants received N13 eviction notices to be out of their homes by August 31st for major renovations. This comes after over a year of aggressive buyout offers and neglecting repairs. The eviction notices came from Smart Living Properties and Forum Equity Partners - the Toronto based investment company that owns Manor Village. 

Manor Village ACORN Leaders Alison Trowbridge and Peggy Rafter led the march after hearing personal stories from tenants and sharing their own. Ottawa Centre NDP MPP, Joel Harden, who supported our fight to stop renovictions and bring in vacancy control also spoke. Alison and Peggy then led members to Smart Living's HQ. Smart Living refused to meet with tenants as a group, only wanting to meet with tenants individually to keep people divided but Alison and Peggy were having none of it!! After shaming Smart Living for renovicting low income and working class families, seniors, people with disabilities and serious health concerns, members marched all down Bank St to Morguard's office - one of Forum's biggest institutional investors. Manor Village ACORN members were able to negotiate a meeting on the spot while other members rallied and chanted outside. The Morguard representative claimed to not know about their dealings with Forum but assured members he'd be making phone calls and faxing our letter to their CEO. 

Manor Village ACORN members' message was loud and clear today - WE'RE NOT MOVING! So stay tuned for upcoming actions!

London: Tenants at 295-321 Westminster Avenue are facing Above Guideline Rent Increases or AGIs from their landlord - Killam. 30+ ACORN members met outside 315 Westminster Avenue to speak out about the issues tenants are facing. ACORN leaders Jordan Smith and Betty Morisson led the action. Three NDP MPPs - Peggy Sattler, Theresa Armstrong and Terence Kernaghan - joined us and supported ACORN’s demand for Full Rent Control.

Peel: In Peel, members came out to the tenant speakout on Ardglen dr. In Brampton. Action was led by Tanya and Gerene who’s neighborhood was just sold from Starlight Investments to Boardwalk REIT. Many tenants have lived their whole lives and are now fearing demovinction. Tenants live with constant maintenance issues and many have breathing issues from mould and poor ventilation.

Members delivered a demand letter to management who were quick to pass the buck for all problems. 

Hamilton - Members fliered and petitioned outside buildings owned by Starlight Investments in downtown Hamilton. Starlight has neglected repairs of long term tenants and focused only on renovations in vacant units. Members talked to people about voting for housing on June 2nd (Election Day in Ontario) and ACORN's demands to stop financialized landlords. 

PRESS

Ottawa Citizen: City staff find way to save Manor Village homes from LRT destruction, while 'renovictions' remove tenants

CityNews: Manor Village tenants demanding property manager withdraws eviction notices

Le Droit: Manor Village: déménagement forcé plus tôt que prévu

The Charlatan: Manor Village tenants fight to stop evictions

 

 

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