Affordable Liveable Housing

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

The Province: Sahota landlords fix up New Westminster apartments prior to media tour

John Dykema takes part in a rally in New Westminster on April 26, 2012. Residents are upset with the condition of their building, which owned and run by Sahota-family-owned Waterfront Developments. Problems were fixed in the building the night before a scheduled media tour   Repairs come hours before media tour of probems

In a surprising move, renters at a New Westminster apartment block owned by the Sahota clan got quick and timely repairs.

The ink was barely dry on a press release announcing a Thursday rally and tour of the run-down Waterfront Developments property on Cameron Street when workers descended and fixed the most obvious of the building’s shortcomings.

“They were working here until midnight patching holes in the walls, dabbing paint around, and returning our water,” said renter John Dykema, who joined other ACORN members with a rousing call and response — “Who are we? ACORN! What do we want? Healthy homes! When do we want them? Now!”

The Record: New Westminster tenants protest living conditions

Tenants of a rental building in New Westminster are rallying against appalling living conditions.

ACORN Canada organized a rally at 1210 Cameron St. on Thursday to highlight tenants' living conditions, which include mold, mice and a foul stench caused by a sewage leak.

"My cat has caught some mice - about three or four," said tenant Mary Cappell. "It's very stressful."

According to ACORN Canada, the apartment's owner was recently fined $115,000 under the Residential Tenancy Act for failing to fix leaks at a Surrey building.

B.C.’s worst landlord leaves New Westminster tenants without running water

Tenants at 1210 Cameron st. in New Westminster held a rally today to protest poor building maintenance by a notorious slum landlord who was fined only last month for poor maintenance of another building.

For over a week tenants have been without running water, had to deal with rampant mold, mice, and have suffered through a foul sewage leak.  

Despite the historic reprimand and $115,000 fine levied by the Residential Tenancy Office a month ago, the Sahota family remains unwilling to bring their properties up to the legal code.  

“These guys (the Sahotas) are a joke; the guy they hired to fix the water is a carpenter!” – Tenant Dan Watson

Cape Breton Post: People protest slum housing in CBRM

About 30 people gathered outside the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Civic Centre on Wednesday, with several people protesting what they called slum housing.

The rally was organized by Cape Breton Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Organizing member Evan Coole said he was happy with the turnout, which he described as a good group of committed people.

Priscilla Lotherington, president of the Investment Property Owners Association of Cape Breton, observed the protest, saying it was curiosity that brought her out. The vacancy rate in the area is about three per cent, she said, which she believes is lower than in the Halifax area.

CBC: Residents protest slum housing in Cape Breton

Dozens of people rallied in Sydney on Wednesday to call for a crackdown on slum landlords.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now [Canada], known as ACORN Canada, wants the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to do more inspections of rental properties to make sure they're fit to live in.

Lucy Gouthro and her elderly mother were among the 40 people who joined the rally at the Civic Centre, clutching photos of her last apartment in North Sydney.

"The ceilings were falling down and the doors were falling off," Gouthro said of her mother's one-bedroom apartment, where she paid $500 a month. 

"There was mice in there and rats, and I had to plug them up."

CTV: Renters rally to raise awareness of slumlords in Sydney

The organizers of a "renter's rage" rally are urging tenants who live in substandard housing to take to the streets of Sydney to express their rage over what they say is a growing number of slum landlords.

It is a landlord's market in the Sydney area, where the demand for rentals far outstrips the supply. Vacancy rates have dipped to two per cent and many low-income tenants who don't qualify for public housing simply have to take what they can get.

"If you are a renter in a place that is owned by a slumlord, and your place is not fit for habitation, you are probably not going to complain about that," says rally organizer Rhonda MacDougall. 

Cape Breton Post: ‘This isn’t just a problem of tenants’

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now planning rally

SYDNEY — An association targeting slum landlords in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is planning a demonstration Wednesday to rally support for the cause.

Evan Coole, organizing committee member for Cape Breton Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, said the event grew out of the response the group has been getting on the doorstep as they attempt to raise awareness of the problem of substandard housing in the region.

“This isn’t just a problem of tenants, it’s a community problem and it requires a community response,” he said.

Coole said the group was disappointed in a recent meeting they had with CBRM Mayor John Morgan.

“He took it almost personally that we were raising issue with the CBRM and deflected attention to the province,” he said. 

Time for action on slumlords

Below is a statement from Sue Collard, ACORN Canada leader & plaintiff in landmark case that has led to $115,000 fine against Surrey Slumlord Gurdyal Singh Sahota.

Friends, yesterday in a precedent setting decision, my landlord - one of the most notorious slumlords in BC - was fined $115,000 for failing to comply with orders of the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) to properly maintain and repair my building.

This is the first time the RTB has ever exercised its power to lay a fine against any landlord.

This victory was only possible because of the support and hard work of ACORN Canada members across the Lower Mainland, the heroic efforts of Scott Bernstein from PIVOT Legal Society, and the incredible hard work and dedication of advocate Kirsty MacKenzie from First United Church. 

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