Toronto ACORN members took action yesterday for Healthy Homes.
In 2008, after four years of organizing neighborhood and city-wide campaigns for Healthy Homes, ACORN won an audit program from the City of Toronto. For the first time, city inspectors worked building-to-building to ensure that tenants had safe, clean homes. Before the creation of program tenants dealing with negligent landlords had to call - sometimes call repeatedly - to get an inspector to their building.
When the program was created it was to involve annual reporting to elected officials. In 2010, after the first full year of inspections, this reporting took place. There has been no reporting since 2010.
In November 2012 city councilor and ACORN ally Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches-East York) brought a motion to Toronto's Licensing and Standards committee that would have seen city staff report on the progress of the audit program and the state of rental housing at the February meeting of that committee.
Committee chair Cesar Palacio referred that motion, guaranteeing that tenants won't have the data they need until April at the earliest.
While the Licensing and Standards committee yet yesterday, ACORN members along with council allies Janet Davis and Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) met with members of the press to highlight the urgent need for the release of this information.
"We've made important progress, but there is still a livable housing crisis in Toronto. Too many of our friends and neighbors are dealing with infestations of roaches, mice, and bedbugs. Too many people aren't getting basic repairs done," said leading ACORN member Nicole Mason.
ACORN members will be back at city hall soon to make sure councilors and staff are taking tenants seriously.