Affordable Liveable Housing

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

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.

580 CFRA: ACORN Canada rally calls for rent increase cap

Calling for changes to the way landlords set rental increases, more than two dozen members of the anti-poverty group, ACORN, rallied outside Dalton McGuinty's Kilborn avenue office today.

The group wants to see the same cap for rent increases when a unit or space is empty as it is for a long term or returning tenant.

Blaine Cameron is a member of ACORN and says he thinks housing needs to be kept affordable, especially for those living on fixed incomes.

"Because as it is right now they (the landlord) can raise it to whatever they want and that, in a city like Ottawa where we have the third longest waiting list for subsidized housing, and it's 10 years someone can wait on that list before they can get subsidized," he said, adding that it's unacceptable to have soaring rates with low access to affordable housing.

ACORN says this was en election promise McGuinty made and they want to hold him to his word.

Ottawa Sun: Advocates to McGuinty: Cap rent hikes

Members of an advocacy group stormed Premier Dalton McGuinty's constituency office on Wednesday, urging him to cap rent hikes.

About 30 members of ACORN argued landlords shouldn't be allowed to raise rents beyond 3.1% in between tenants.

Tina Morris said she recently lived in a frigid, ill-maintained flat. After she moved out, she was astonished to find it renting for $400 more than she had paid.

"And he didn't fix anything," she said. "The landlords right now, they can take their vacant apartments and raise the rent as much as they like."

That can create motivation for landlords to drive out low-income tenants.

"The rents are going up and up," Morris said.

Low vacancy rates -- 1.4% last year and an expected 1.2% in 2012 -- have helped keep rent in Ottawa at above the national average.

1310 News: Ottawa ACORN calls for rental cap

Ottawa members rally for Healthy Homes at Dalton McGuinty's office. August 29 2012.A group of around 30 Ottawa residents rallied in front of Premier Dalton McGuinty's Kilborn Avenue office Wednesday afternoon, calling for fair rent.

They were part of Ottawa ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, an advocacy group that fights for those who struggle to make ends meet.

Ottawa ACORN was calling on the provincial government to prevent landlords from increasing rent by more than 3.1 per cent on units after a tenant has moved out.

Tina was living in an apartment that needed upgrades and utility work done.

"Before we moved out, I saw an ad online for our aparment," she said. "He had raised the rent from the $850 that we were paying, to $1,200 for this apartment. Not one thing was fixed before the new tenants moved in."

Ontario ACORN Members Rally for Affordable Housing

Tina Aug 29 2012 Vacancy control 2

Today, ACORN members in Toronto and Ottawa took action for affordable and liveable housing in Ontario.

Over 50 ACORN members rallied to hold Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government accountable for the promises they made to prohibit rent increases when landlords fail to  maintain their buildings, and to provide stronger protections for renters. So far McGuinty has failed to keep those promises, and ACORN members are holding him to account!

As part of a province-wide day of action on our Healthy Homes campaign, Ottawa members outside Dalton McGuinty’s office and Toronto members outside Kathleen Wynne (Housing Minister)’s office demanded to be engaged on capping rent increases on vacant apartments and making housing liveable and affordable in Ontario – as McGuinty promised. 

For more information and to get involved in the Healthy Homes campaign, contact your local ACORN office today!

Update: Shortly after the Toronto action, Kathleen Wynne called Toronto ACORN to schedule a meeting with our leaders. Looks like we got her attention!

Day of Action: Cap the Vacancy Rates!

daltons office mar 30 2012Members in Ottawa are fighting to cap rent increases on vacant apartments to 3.1%, which is the current maximum rate for occupied units. ACORN members want Premier Dalton McGuinty to live up to his election commitments to stand up for tenants and make rent affordable. Ottawa has over 10,000 families on the wait list - the third largest in the province - for affordable housing.

Member Lana Bogart, who is paying market rent, says: “Dalton McGuinty made a promise to tenants to do something about inflationary rent increases, and we're still waiting for him to keep that promise. I've been in my apartment for almost six years, and our landlord has put us on a month-to-month lease, and he no longer does repairs in a timely fashion. It feels like they're trying to get us to move out so they can raise the rent to current market rates.” 

Members will meet Wednesday, August 29, 12pm outside 1795 Kilborn (Dalton McGunity's constituency office). Join us to fight for affordable housing now! Wear your ballcap to CAP the vacancy rates! Transportation assistance available but RSVP necessary, call 613 746 5999 or email onacornot@acorncanada.org.

Building for a National Day of Action on Housing

Ottawa ACORN planning meeting for August 29 Day of Action. On August 29th, ACORN members across Canada will be taking action for affordable and livable housing. 

Right now, members are hard at work building those actions. Get in touch with the ACORN office closest to you if you can help.

In Ottawa and Toronto ACORN members met this week to talk about turn-out and details for the day of. 

Communites across Canada are facing a crisis - they're in desperate need of more affordable and livable housing.

In BC, ACORN members recently met with the assistant deputy minister for housing after a long campaign to pressure his government to take the needs of tenants more seriously. Read more about that here

In Ottawa, ACORN members recently started a city-wide Healthy Homes campaign. Read more about that here

August will be busy as ACORN members from coast to coast continue meeting, and planning, and organizing.

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