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Launch of ACORN’s Retrofits and Rent Gouging report gets attention across Canada - ACORN Canada

Launch of ACORN’s Retrofits and Rent Gouging report gets attention across Canada

Posted April 11, 2024

With its usual bluster, ACORN released its scathing report about the failed public financing deal between the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Avenue Living with actions in Toronto, Ottawa, and Calgary.

Download your copy of Rent Gouging and Retrofits report

Send an Email to Housing Minister Sean Fraser calling on the Federal government to stop subsidizing rent gougers like Avenue Living. Tell them to include affordability and anti-eviction covenants be attached to all public funds put towards the energy retrofitting of apartment buildings.

The report details survey results of Avenue Living tenants in Alberta. It lays in detail the problematic nature of giving public subsidies to landlords with no strings attached, especially in a province like Alberta that lacks basic tenant rights like rent control or security of tenure.

ACORN’s survey reveals that since the deal was made tenants have encountered massive rent increases, substandard living conditions, absent building management, and a lack of tenant engagement on energy retrofits are the norm at Avenue Living buildings. This in spite of Avenue Living receiving large public subsidies to perform energy retrofits on their apartments.

As the federal government commits more public dollars for retrofits in light of the worsening climate crisis, it is critical that financing agreements between the government and private landlords have affordability and anti-eviction covenants and deep tenant engagement.


Calgary ACORN had a big showing at Wyldewood Estates, an apartment complex owned by Avenue Living where tenants all faced out of control rent increases and where the retrofits are happening. Many tenants were forced to move, unable to afford the $500 rent increases handed out by Avenue Living.

50 people from at least 5 different Avenue Living buildings joined us at Wyldewood Estates to launch the report. Even some former Avenue Living tenants who have been forced to move due to large rent increases joined the action! Building management locked themselves in the office and refused to accept our report or engage with tenants.

Alberta ACORN surveyed 111 tenants in 10 days, and as you can read in the report the responses are shocking. Avenue Living tenant, and ACORN tenant union organizer, Sandra McCrone not only led the action but went door to door in her complex educating tenants on the CIB/Avenue Living deal and getting fellow tenants to fill out the survey and get involved with the tenant union!

Toronto ACORN visited the Canadian Infrastructure Bank head office down in the financial district. So nice to hear that the Canadian Infrastructure Bank buzzed ACORN leaders up to their offices in the sky! ACORN leader Christena Abbot read out ACORN’s Apartment Retrofit Platform demands, delivered the report, and asked to speak with CIB CEO Ehren Cory. The administrative assistant “promised” to deliver it to him. All in all thanks to Christine Abbott and other ACORN leaders we are certain CIB got the message, and the report!

Members of Ottawa ACORN’s Eco-Tenant Union delivered the Retrofits and Rent Gouging report directly to the Prime Minister’s Office! Unfortunately Justin didn’t buzz ACORN in like the CIB did. Instead ACORN leaders told to drop it off at the mailbox around the corner. To ensure they indeed left a trace, the ACORN contingent marched over to the official office for correspondence to the Prime Minister and delivered the report once again! Ottawa ACORN acted in solidarity with the Avenue Living Tenant Union in Alberta and made it clear that Alberta tenants lack basic protections and the federal government needs to commit to prioritizing tenants instead of landlords.

Check out ACORN’s Retrofit Platform:
All green infrastructure retrofit partnerships and agreements from the Canada Infrastructure Bank or CMHC must include:

  • affordability and anti-eviction covenants in perpetuity,
  • signed agreements from the landlord made transparent to the tenants in the building,
  • rent controls,
  • formal tenant participation where independent tenant unions receive resources to support tenant participation.

Send an email to your MP telling them No Retrofits and Rent Gouging – Affordability Covenants on all public funds given to landlords!