Affordable Liveable Housing

ACORN Canada members are fighting for affordable and livable housing at all levels of government across Canada.

Halifax Media Co-op: The Black, Moldy Side of Atlantic Living

Dartmouth, NS – It's been an interesting few days for Jessica Basterache.

img 6766Last Thursday, the Halifax Media Co-op was invited to report on the slum-style conditions of the basement floor of the low-rise on Jackson Road in North Dartmouth, where Basterache was living.

Her apartment, as well as several other vacant, unlocked units, had serious black mold issues, which is extremely dangerous to human health. There was also serious cosmetic damage to the basement hallway, with holes punched and kicked in the drywall. There was no lock on the back door of the building entrance, and the hallway was missing fire extinguishers.

Prior to the article being published, the HMC attempted unsuccessfully to contact Atlantic Living Property Management, the new owners of the Jackson Road low-rise, and numerous other investments in the area and beyond. 

Dartmouth ACORN Members Come Together to Fight for Healthy Homes

Nova Scotia ACORN member Jessica Bastarache has lived with mould, rats, a rotting bathroom and broken entrance in her building for two years. While it was hard to imagine the situation worsening, on December 3rd she came home to find a sheriff’s notice of eviction.

Atlantic Living currently owns the property and while they didn’t initiate the eviction, they stood firmly by it and even claimed when speaking to a reporter that Jessica caused the damages to the building. The eviction was initiated shortly after she went to the media about her living conditions.

With the help of 40 ACORN members and allies marching on Atlantic Living’s office on Tuesday, Jessica made an example out of slumlords that bully tenants.

Halifax ACORN member rally for Healthy Homes.

EMC News: Herongate tenants win battle for repairs

From left, George Brown, ACORN legal council, Daniel Tucker-Simmons, law student at the University of Ottawa, Suzanne Bouclin and David Wiseman professors at the University of Ottawa faculty of law attend an ACORN press conference on Oct. 2.EMC news - Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board has awarded tenants living with mould on their windows and holes in their walls in the Herongate area more than $75,000 in rebates and repairs.

For months, Ottawa ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has been lobbying to force property owners to put much-needed repairs into homes and apartments in the Herongate community.

On Oct. 2, members of ACORN called a press conference to announce what they called "celebrating a win" against a landlord in Herongate.

"We are here to celebrate some victories that we have had with our rental abetments and to thank all our volunteers who helped us over time dealing with the rent abetments," said Mavis Finnamore, ACORN member, adding that the group has had a 95 per cent success rate in pleading out their cases.

So far 31 cases have gone through or are still pending at the Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board, according to ACORN.

580 CFRA: Ottawa ACORN celebrates win in Herongate

Herongate ACORN press conference, Oct. 2 2012. Members of an advocacy group calling for reform are celebrating a win against a landlord in the Herongate area.

Ottawa ACORN has been lobbying for months to get Transglobe to put much needed repairs into homes in the low income area.

Ontario's Landlord and Tenant tribunal have awarded tenants living with mould on their windows and holes in their walls over $75,000 dollars in rebates and repairs.

ACORN member Mavis Finnamore said they've had a 95 per cent success rate in pleading out their case.

"This should really cause people who are in difficulty with their landlords to stop and think here is a chance, at least, to get after landlords who are slow with repairs or don't want to have to deal with your problems," she said.

While repairs are underway, she said more must the done to prevent landlords from neglecting their tenants--- they want the city to create legislation that would create a minimum standard for residential properties.

Ottawa ACORN's Herongate Chapter Honoured by Award Nomination from Action Housing

John Redins, right, is a founding member of Ottawa ACORN's Herongate chapter.Members of ACORN from Ottawa's Herongate community have been nominated for an award from Action Housing. 

The nomination comes following their very succesful, and ongoing, project to get basic and vital repairs done for Herongate tenants. Read more about that work, and all the people who made it happen here

Member John Redins joined 4 years ago and helped start the ACORN chapter in Herongate. John says, "We starting fighting for tenants rights and putting pressure on the landlord to adhere to the landlord tenant act. Much of the act is not protective for tenants and it is mainly for landlords. Our landlord changed 10 times in 9 years and we couldn't keep up with the change. We had to get organized, get the city involved for change."

Find out more about the award and the other nominees here.

If you're interested in coming to the award presentation on Thursday at City Hall, contact Action Houing or Ottawa ACORN's office

Housing Crisis in Ontario

ACORN members rally for Healthy Homes. Last Thursday, September 20th, leading members of ACORN Canada Kay Bisnath and Tina Morris met with Kathleen Wynne, Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley West and Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

On behalf of ACORN members across Ontario, Bisnath and Morris were asking for an immediate response to the crisis that tenants in Ontario are dealing with: stronger rent control – on all rental units, not just occupied ones - and action now from the provincial government to protect tenants from slum landlords who refuse to do basic and vital repairs.

Minister Wynne thinks there is no crisis.

We disagree.

ACORN Celebrates $55K Victory in Herongate; Gives Thanks to Volunteers!

A meeting of ACORN members in HerongateOttawa ACORN members in the Herongate neighborhood have made major progress in their campaign for liveable housing. Dozens of members, working with lawyers, law students and professors they have forced their landlord to spend over $55,000 on necessary repairs. Other tenants have reached financial settlements due to years of neglect - these total more than $20,000. 

Without the incredible dedication and solidarity of all the volunteers involved, this would not have been possible. George Brown supervised the project. Derek Schroeder, Oriana Pollitt, Eric Girard, Daniel Tucker-Simmons, Miriam Martin, Sabrina Seibel, Iman Amin, and Mike Currie put in hundreds of hours of work. Professors David Wiseman and Suzanne Bouclin helped initiate the project, and are now working to plan next steps. ACORN members are very grateful to them all.

Ottawa ACORN will hold a press event to announce the next steps of this project on Tuesday, October 2nd at noon. It will take place at 1480 Heron Rd

NOW Magazine: Tenant activists take on Libs

ACORN members rally at the office of Kathleen Wynne. August 9, 2012.It’s all about the loopholes.

Back in June when the Liberals passed bill 19, an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act limiting annual rent increases to 2.4%, they were obviously hoping to chill out tenant activists.

Fat chance. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has just launched a campaign pointing to the bill’s chief flaws: not only is it inapplicable to buildings constructed after 1991, but it doesn’t apply to vacant units, meaning new renters can face increases of any old amount.

Last Wednesday, August 29, a small clutch of ACORN members in matching red t’s, protested in front of the office of Kathleen Wynne, minister of municipal affairs and housing on Eglinton E, the first of a number of events planned.