On Tuesday, ACORN members took a message to Queen’s Park.
The justice committee was meeting to discuss Bill 19, which would amend the Residential Tenancies Act. There are important changes needed to that act, but Bill 19 as it’s currently written won’t make any of them.
What’s needed? An end to vacancy decontrol. Right now, rent increases are only regulated for as long as an individual tenant lives in an apartment. When they move out the rent can be dramatically increased. This puts long term tenants in the crosshairs of unscrupulous landlords, and it leads to unsustainable increases in the cost of rental housing. ACORN is calling for real rent control in Ontario.
What else? Action from the provincial government to address the conditions in rental housing. If a landlord has any outstanding work orders, no increase in rent should be permitted. There need to be straight forward financial consequences for landlords who don’t provide livable housing.