ACORN’s Special Delivery to CMHC & Liberal MP Offices: Tenants demand an end to financialisation of housing
Posted October 30, 2023
Today, ACORN had a special delivery! ACORN delivered over 400 tenant testimonials to CMHC and Liberal MP offices in 10 cities across Canada. These actions coincided with the testimony that ACORN National Housing Spokesperson Tanya Burkart and Alberta ACORN member Sandra McCrone gave to the federal review panel on the financialization of purpose-built rental housing.
The review panel was set up by the federal housing council and is happening as a result of years of pressure from housing activists calling for a federal response to the housing crisis. As part of the written submissions, ACORN submitted 400+ testimonials to the review panel.
ACORN is demanding a series of actions from the federal government to create and protect affordable housing. To read ACORN’s Housing platform, click here.
Here’s a brief account of the actions across the country!
Alberta: ACORN members in Calgary came out to the action at the Calgary CMHC office with new members leading the action for the first time. Security had the building blocked off but did allow a member to deliver the 400 testimonials to the CMHC office on the 3rd floor. No CMHC staff was present in their offices so the binder was delivered to the CMHC security guard.
BC ACORN rallied outside the Vancouver CMHC office and got lots of support from passersby talking about why tenants need fast action from the federal government. The Vancouver CMHC office had clearly heard from their colleagues across the country about the wave of ACORN actions!
NB ACORN delivered the binder of testimonies to MP Jenica Atwin’s office and spoke to staff for a bit.
Members gathered outside of the building that houses the CMHC’s offices in Halifax. A small group of our members made their way up to the office but were told that nobody in the office was high-ranking enough to meet with us. Security was called and the elevators were locked down, but we were able to deliver our submissions to the security guard and leave without incident. Big shoutout to Heather Clark and Hannah Wood, who spoke to Global News and Canadian press who had come out to cover the event!
ACORN members marched down to the National CMHC office. Members demanded to speak to the CEO so the manager of security got the highest ranking person there to meet with members. Leaders handed Samir Chhelavda ACORN’s National Housing Demands and over 400 testimonies from members across the country on why we need to stop financialized landlords. Huge shoutout to leaders: Amanda Teske & Bader Abu-Zahra for leading a power and important action!!
London ACORN members marched to Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos’ office to deliver a binder full of the 400+ testimonies from tenants living under corporate landlords in Canada, along with our demands for the federal government to take action to protect affordable housing! Peter was unavailable but an office worker received the binder and demands on his behalf and said Peter would follow up! CTV News followed members along for the action, as members chanted in unison “Who are we? ACORN! What do we want? AFFORDABLE HOUSING! When do we want it? NOW!”
Hamilton ACORN members delivered our demand letter and testimonials to Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas MP Filomena Tassi (Liberal Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario). After speaking with the MP’s staff and going over ACORN’s national demands outside the office, members petitioned and postered along King Street to increase awareness about the campaign.
20 people came out to deliver over 400+ testimonies! We marched and chanted along University Street to the CMHC in downtown Toronto. Members went up to the 11th floor and got locked out of the CMHC office. After 30 min of demanding them to receive the testimonies a clerk finally signed off and accepted the testimonies. VICTORY!
Over a dozen Waterloo Region ACORN members marched to MP Bardish Chagger’s office on Regina Street to demand the federal government take action against the housing crisis and to deliver a binder of over 400 testimonies from tenants living under corporate landlords in Canada. CTV and City News came along for the action, and members were able to successfully deliver the testimonies to the office.
Two awesome crews assembled in the Peel region for the National Day of Action. For Brampton, members led by Tanya Burkart and Aiden Janey gathered in front of the MP and Federal Minister Kamal Khera’s office. Members spoke about their experiences with corporate landlords and then delivered the binder of testimonies to the staff and got them to commit to arranging a future meeting with the MP. In Mississauga, members led by Marcia Bryan took the binder to the Federal Minister and MP Rechie Valdez’s office. The staffers noticed the members organizing outside, and let us into the office where the members had a very productive talk with the staff present, giving out testimonials about their individual rental experiences. The staff were keen to hear our members’ insight into the housing crisis, and we got them to commit to arrange a meeting with Minister Valdez as well.