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.

According to a statement from the office of Kathleen Wynne, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Housing and Aboriginal Affairs, the Liberal government has invested an unprecedented $2.5 billion in affordable housing, building over 22,000 new units and repairing over 250,000 more.

"We know there is more work to do, that's why the Province is calling on the Federal government to commit to a long-term affordable housing commitment beyond our agreement that expires in 2014," reads the statement.

The Liberal government also introduced legislation to cap the annual Rent Increase Guideline at 2.5 per cent, but that does not affect unoccupied spaces.