ACORN Tenant Union Past its First Hurdle in the Fight for Healthy Homes and Landlord Licensing in Surrey!
Posted April 21, 2023
Surrey ACORN’s campaign for Healthy Homes and Landlord Licensing passed a key hurdle after the Surrey’s Livability and Social Equity Committee passed a motion calling for a review of Surrey’s Standards of Maintenance bylaw. ACORN Tenant Union representatives Adriana Sadowska and Leslie MacFarlen presented to the council committee, making a powerful case for why the City needs to introduce stronger municipal laws to ensure tenants get their repairs done.
Surrey ACORN has been calling on City Council to protect tenants from unhealthy and unacceptable conditions within Surrey apartments. As rent prices rise, many Surrey landlords have opted to ignore their duty to perform basic maintenance and treat pest infestations, choosing instead to value profits over the rights of tenants. In response, ACORN set out to quantify the state of disrepair and neglect in Surrey apartments through a Tenant Maintenance Complaint Canvass. Over 400 tenants from upwards of 50 apartment buildings across Surrey responded with a list of their current outstanding maintenance and pest issues. The vast majority of tenants reported ongoing issues that are currently not covered by Surrey’s Standards of Maintenance by-law. So clearly, the law had to change!
ACORN was invited to present to the Livability and Social Equity Committee, following our successful Rally for Repairs at City Hall in March. Leslie and Adrianna highlighted exactly how bad conditions have gotten within many Surrey apartments, and laid out how the City could combat slumlords by strengthening the Standards of Maintenance by-law and Licensing Landlords.
When all was said and done, the committee passed a motion directing the City staff to analyze the effectiveness of the current bylaw and research options on how solutions like ACORN’s campaign to strengthen the bylaw and license landlords could be implemented.
Next step is making sure Surrey Council follows through and uses its powers to protect tenants!