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Hamilton ACORN and allies continue push for local tenant protections from extreme heat - ACORN Canada

Hamilton ACORN and allies continue push for local tenant protections from extreme heat

Posted April 29, 2024

This morning Monday, April 29th a coalition of environmental and community groups delegated to the Public Health Committee on the 2024 Heat Response Strategy.

Delegates from local and provincial organizations ACORN Hamilton, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and Environment Hamilton spoke in support of initiatives detailed in the plan such as free HSR fares during heat warnings but urged Councillors to consider stronger measures for in-suite protections for tenants.

The climate crisis will mean heat events will continue to increase in intensity, duration, and frequency. And it is well documented that those disproportionately affected by heat-related deaths and illness are seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income, racialized and tenant communities.

Last May, Council unanimously endorsed a motion for Hamilton to move forward with a maximum heat bylaw and other local measures to address excessive indoor temperatures in rental housing.

As summer is quickly approaching, our coalition understands that time is needed to develop and implement the bylaw (which would be the first of its kind in Canada) but stronger supports for vulnerable tenant communities are needed for this year.

Coalition demands:

  • Free city run AC program targeted to low-income people and/or people most vulnerable to heat because of a medical condition or age.
  • The City of Hamilton to move forward this summer with offering free HSR fares during heat warnings.
  • All items in the Heat Response Plan to be funded for summer 2024 and include clear timelines for implementation.

After delegations and the staff presentation, Councillors acknowledged the limited opportunities prior to the meeting to find improvements. The committee endorsed the strategy but promised to seek amendments ahead of the May 8 Council meeting based on feedback from delegates.

More to come!