Posted February 1, 2022
In recognition of the City's two year anniversary of declaring a 'Housing and Homelessness' emergency, Ottawa ACORN members led a 90+ person virtual protest against demovictions. Ottawa made history on Jan 29th, 2020 by becoming the first city in the country to declare housing an emergency. While ACORN members supported this declaration wholeheartedly, not enough has been done to actually END the emergency!
One of the major drivers of the housing crisis is renovictions and demovictions. So on Saturday Jan 29th, ACORN members released a new report. Highlights include:
- We are losing 15 affordable housing units on the private market for every 1 unit of social housing that is built in Ottawa
- There are currently 23-29 development applications in front of City Council that if approved would demolish existing affordable housing
- An estimated 5,500+ tenants would be displaced from their homes as a result of these redevelopment applications
The virtual protest today was led by ACORN leaders Marie Lourdes Garnier, Davette Nyota, Norma-Jean Quibell and Meram Saleh, but we also heard members Lionel Njeukam and Dustin Munro who are both facing demovictions. We also heard from Councillor Catherine Mckenney who continues to support ACORN’s campaign for an Anti Displacement Policy to preserve affordable housing and protect tenants' right to housing. Other allies who spoke in solidarity included Horizon Ottawa and the City’s All Women Initiative (CAWI). Councillors Rawlson King and Theresa Kavanaugh were also in attendance.
After the speeches ACORN members led a phone blitz, calling en masse Mayor Jim Watson and their city councillor demanding that the City implement an Anti-Displacement Policy similar to what was won in Burnaby, BC by ACORN members!
While media was largely pre-occupied with the ongoing convoy downtown, we accumulated a lot of press on the campaign earlier in the weeks leading up to the action.
*Want to support the campaign? Send an email to Jim Watson and your city councillor in support of an Anti Displacement Policy*
CBC News: City of Ottawa, developer talk deal to help displaced tenants
Ottawa Citizen: Planning committee struggles for 'balance' in redevelopment projects kicking out tenants
Le Droit: Manifestation d'ACORN devant le 641-649 rue RideauDA
Centretown Buzz: Affordable apartment building may be torn down, turned into surface parking lot
CityNews: Residents of affordable Centretown apartment building fighting proposed demolition
Ottawa Citizen: Demonstrators condemn plan to raze downtown six-plex for a parking lot