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."

Blaine said it is hard enough to cover rent, without it jumping so drastically.

"With 60 per cent of my income going to housing, that leaves very little left over for me to afford food, and this in turn affects my physical and mental wellbeing."

He said he feels for those people who have to come up with rent without any help.

"For me, I'm thankful that I have family that I can lean on," he added. "So I don't feel the effects as hard as other people do. It is frustrating that so much of that goes to my rent and I can't afford to eat a proper diet wiothout going into debt.... It's through no fault of my own that I'm on Ontario disability and it would be nice to be respected."

He said he wished the Liberals would reconsider an NDP idea that would cap rent increases at a reasonable level.

The rally was part of a province-wide effort by ACORN to keep rent affordable.