ACORN Canada submission to the 2019 Ontario Budget consultation

We encourage the Ministry of Finance to take this opportunity to consider the needs of almost 2 million low-income Ontarians. Poverty costs the province $32-to-38-billion per year: it is a problem worth tackling. We believe that Ontario can lead the way in Canada by tackling housing affordability, rising child care costs, energy poverty, an inequitable financial system, and benefits that do not meet the needs of our most vulnerable, to foster a fairer, more inclusive province.

ACORN Canada submission to the Review of the Canadian Communications Legislative Framework

ACORN Canada members feel strongly that access to home internet is essential and a right. Since 2013, ACORN members have been organizing on our Internet for All campaign, after members identified the high cost of home internet as a major barrier to low-income earners’ participation and success in the digital economy. ACORN Canada is fighting for affordable home access to high-speed home internet for all Canadians

CRTC Inquiry into the Retail Sales Practices of Canada’s Large Telecommunications Carriers: ACORN Submission

Recently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began an inquiry into the sales practices of telecoms companies, to understand whether services are being sold fairly and transparently. ACORN invited members across the country to share their experiences. Many members who reached out had been misled when buying a product or service, encountered pushy salespeople, or found their phone, internet or TV package confusing.

Women and Predatory Lending

In Canada, women earn eighty-seven cents for every dollar earned by men. Women are less likely to be employed than men and are overrepresented in precarious jobs. Twenty-six per cent of female-led lone parent families live in poverty, compared to twelve per cent of those led by men. Given these statistics, it is somewhat unsurprising that payday loan use tends to occur more often in female-headed households.

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Stand Up for Housing in Surrey

Posted on August 6, 2020

This report focuses on the housing crisis in Surrey in BC. Based on the victories secured by BC ACORN members in several other cities in BC, including in Burnaby and New Westminster, the report underscores the need for urgent measures that the city government in Surrey can take to address the existing housing issues and protecting tenants' rights in Surrey.

Read this report to learn how we can win municipally to end the housing crisis in Surrey. 

 

État des locataires pendant COVID-19 - Rapport d'enquête

Posted on April 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 a changé nos vies comme jamais auparavant en apportant un ensemble unique de problèmes. Cependant, ces défis deviennent encore plus complexes pour les personnes qui vivent déjà en marge. Les statistiques continuent de brosser un tableau sombre en ce qui concerne l'accès à des logements abordables et sains au Canada et avec la pandémie COVID-19, la situation ne fera qu'empirer, en particulier pour les locataires et les personnes à faible revenu ou appartenant aux sections les plus vulnérables du population. ACORN Canada a contacté 1082 personnes à travers le Canada pour comprendre les problèmes auxquels les gens sont confrontés pendant la pandémie, en particulier ceux liés à leur capacité de payer le loyer car elle arrive à échéance le 1er mai et les problèmes qu'ils rencontrent. dans leurs immeubles / appartements car le manque d'entretien et de réparation pose un risque majeur pour la santé publique, en particulier lors d'une pandémie. Ce rapport présente les conclusions principales de cette enquête et les mesures urgentes que les gouvernements doivent prendre pour garantir que les personnes en marge obtiennent le soutien dont elles ont besoin en cette période de crise sanitaire et économique.

 

State of Renters During COVID-19: Survey Report

Posted on April 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 has changed our lives like never before by bringing a unique set of issues. However, these challenges get even more complex and compounded for people who are already living at the margins. Statistics continue to paint a grim picture when it comes to access to affordable and healthy housing in Canada and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation will only worsen especially for renters and those on low-income or belong to the most vulnerable sections of the population. ACORN Canada reached out to 1082 people across Canada to understand the issues people are facing during the pandemic, especially those relating to their ability to pay rent as it falls due again on May 1st and the problems they are encountering in their buildings/apartments as  lack of maintenance and repair poses a major public health risk especially during a pandemic. This report provides the main findings of this survey and calls for urgent measures that governments need to take to ensure that people at the margins get the support they need in times of this health and economic crisis. 

 

Herongate: The Case for RentSafe Ottawa

Ottawa ACORN's campaign for a landlord registry similar to Toronto's RentSafe bylaw is based on over a decade’s worth of community organizing, as well as the countless experiences of our low to moderate income members shared through forums, phone calls and home visits. For the past 13 years, ACORN organizers have gone door-to-door in low-income neighbourhoods, where the state of people’s housing remains their number one concern. ACORN sees the implementation of a landlord registry as an opportunity to address the gaps in our current property standards system; to ensure that everyone’s right to housing is protected and that every tenant has a healthy home.

Ottawa ACORN’s Response to Maclaren Group’s Policy Options Report on Housing Conditions

Ottawa ACORN members are in the final sprint for their campaign for landlord licensing. After convincing city council to include landlord licensing as part of the City's "regulating rental accommodations" review, members have organized Tenant Speak Outs, days of action at City Hall, door knocked in bad apartment buildings, released reports, engaged the media and have met with the City's consultants three times. The consultants from Maclaren Group have released their report on policy options for housing conditions and are asking for feedback before submitting their recommendations to City Hall. 
 
Read Ottawa ACORN's response here: 

Housing Horror Stories: The Tenants' Case for Landlord Licensing in Ottawa

This collection of tenant testimonials shows that the City of Ottawa needs to do more to improve housing conditions.
 
Tenants are living in substandard conditions without the necessary support to allow them to stand up to landlords and have their needs met. The Property Standards By-law has more procedural steps and delays than most by-laws in addition to any notice of violation being unenforceable.
 
The City's review on regulating rental accommodations is a good first step in addressing tenants' very real concerns regarding the state of their housing. It is Ottawa ACORN members' hope that this sample of housing horror stories will demonstrate to our city that substandard housing conditions is a systematic issue that warrants urgent attention. We need landlord licensing NOW!

Ottawa ACORN: The Fight for the Right to Housing and a No Displacement CBA in Herongate

Community benefits agreements (CBAs) are legally enforceable contracts signed by community groups and a private developer or government agency. CBAs can result  in a range of benefits for community members, such as jobs and training; community  amenities,  support  for local  business,  affordable  housing and other provisions. 
 
As a community organization of low and moderate income families and individuals fighting for social and economic justice, ACORN is invested in ensuring community benefits agreements meet the needs of the communities we work with. 

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ACORN Canada's submission to CMHC's rights-based approach to housing consultation

By introducing a National Housing Strategy (NHS) and making a commitment to a rights-based approach to housing, the Federal Government is taking a significant step towards tackling Canada’s housing crisis. ACORN members welcome this national plan. Yet, we acknowledge that there is a long way to go to overcome the systemic issues that have led to so many homeless and underhoused Canadians. 

Broadbent Institute: Networked Change in Canada

This groundbreaking report maps out the strategies and practices that lie behind today’s most successful advocacy campaigns both in Canada and abroad. In the process, it demonstrates how and why they succeed in creating lasting change on the issues they address while so many others fail. Based on a study by authors Jason Mogus and Tom Liacas that looked at mostly U.S.-based case studies, this report now presents similar innovations in Canada by reviewing in depth case studies of eight breakthrough Canadian campaigns. The report’s goal is to transmit a model that can be learned and replicated by other campaigners for how to blend grassroots participation and organizing with disciplined central planning to win.

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