Last Thursday, September 20th, leading members of ACORN Canada Kay Bisnath and Tina Morris met with Kathleen Wynne, Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley West and Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
On behalf of ACORN members across Ontario, Bisnath and Morris were asking for an immediate response to the crisis that tenants in Ontario are dealing with: stronger rent control – on all rental units, not just occupied ones - and action now from the provincial government to protect tenants from slum landlords who refuse to do basic and vital repairs.
Minister Wynne thinks there is no crisis.
- There are 159,965 people in Toronto alone who are on the waiting list for affordable housing. That’s up 27% since August 2011. Since the recession of 2008, the waiting list has set a new record every single month. (via Wellesley Institute)
- According to the United Way tenants are paying more and getting less than 30 years ago. Most tenants have had to deal with broken elevators, pests and vermin, and waits to get significant repairs done.
- A six minute drive from Minister Wynne’s constituency office is 31-35 St. Dennis Dr. In the past two years city inspectors have issued 274 work orders against the landlord there. Hundreds more were issued before that, and new ones are being issued every month.
- Down the street from 31-35 St. Dennis Dr. is 5 Dufresne Ct. It also has had more than its share of city-issued work orders. The landlord there thinks that the rental housing industry should be treated more “akin to resource extraction.”
The lack of affordable and livable housing isn’t just hurting our wallets, it’s hurting our health. We need action now.
If you think tenants are dealing with serious problems, let Minister Wynne’s office know. Then get in touch with the ACORN office closest to you – we want you to be part of the campaign for Healthy Homes in Ontario.