ACORN and allies win first steps towards Hamilton passing a maximum heat bylaw!
Posted May 15, 2023
Today 6 ACORN members and 6 allies delegated to the Public Health Committee to call on the City of Hamilton to pass policies to protect tenants from extreme heat!
ACORN launched our extreme heat campaign in September 2022 and have been organizing since then to make this a priority for the new Council term.
Along with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, ACORN met with 12 City Councillors over the past few months to discuss our extreme heat campaign demands:
1. A maximum heat bylaw mandating that adequate and suitable cooling shall be provided and maintained by the landlord (implementation for summer 2024)
2. Temporary cooling measures available in apartment buildings for the summer of 2023. Such as a designated space available to all tenants that is air conditioned.
3. Development of a municipal program to support low-income tenants with the cost to run an air conditioning unit.
4. The City of Hamilton to develop a municipal program to support retrofits of private purpose-built rental housing.
5. Tracking of heat-related deaths and illnesses in Hamilton.
ACORN delegations included: East End member Stewart Klazinga, Downtown member Damien Ash, Downtown chair Christine Neale, Stoney Creek member Arnim Hughes, Mountain co-chair Marnie Schurter and Stoney Creek chair Liz Scott.
Organizations that delegated in support – Canadian Environmental Law Association, Hamilton Community Benefits Network, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. (Environment Hamilton registered to speak but was unable to attend)
After delegations, Council discussion and questions to staff, Ward 2 City Councillor Cameron Kroetsch brought forward a motion that passed unanimously 10-0 (seconded by Ward 4 Tammy Hwang):
1. That staff in the licensing and by-law division prepare an information report for Q4 of 2023 identifying the 2024 priorities and timelines for the development of a maximum heat bylaw
2. 2024 budget allocation for allowing the licensing and by-law division to develop, update and enforce city by-laws to protect tenants
3. That staff in the Healthy and Safe Communities be directed to report back to the Emergency and Community Services Committee on the feasibility of the development of a municipal program to support low-income tenants with the cost to run an air conditioning unit and to support retrofits of private purpose built rentals in Q4 2023
4. That staff in Healthy and Safe Communities and Public Health be directed to report back on feasibility of tracking heat-related deaths and illnesses in Q4 of 2023
ACORN is happy to see the motion pass with unanimous support and we look forward to working with City Councillors, city staff and our allies to see a max heat bylaw implemented for summer 2024.