Ming Pao News: Pro-landlord licensing tenant activists take to the streets – 租客怒吼 促房東須領牌 趁市長選戰開打 上街維權
Posted April 8, 2014
Posted April 8, 2014
English translation follows
為低收入租戶爭取權益的全國性組織ACORN昨日舉行集會，希望藉已經拉開序幕的多市市長選舉大戰的機會，向候選人提出訴求， 其中包括希望新一屆的市長班子實施「房東許可證」(Landlord Licensing)政策，以保障租戶最基本的權益。
ACORN 主席Natalie Hundt告訴本報，多倫多出租柏文的住房條件實在很令人擔憂，雖然政府一再承諾改善，但在該機構多年的極力爭取下，得到的改善相對十分有限。「若租戶不及時交租，房東就會趕人，但房東不履行職責維修及清潔的義務，則沒有政策約束，這一點是極為不公平的。」她說。
The national organization ACORN held a rally yesterday to fight for the rights of low-income tenants, kicking off a multi-city mayoral election war, the tenants put forward demands, including the hope that the new mayor’s team implements the “landlord Permit” (Landlord Licensing) policies to safeguard the fundamental interests of tenants.
Yesterday’s rally was held in Toronto East York at 500 Dawes Rd.
ACORN Chairperson Natalie Hundt told the newspaper, the Toronto rental housing conditions are really worrying, though the government has repeatedly pledged to improve, but in the fight for the organization for many years, any improvement was relatively limited. “If the tenant does not pay rent on time, the landlord will evict people, but if the landlord does not fulfill the obligations of maintenance and cleaning duties, there is no policy constraints, it is extremely unfair,” she said.
Looking forward to the upcoming election, Hundt said that the organization does not officially express their support for a candidate, but the incumbent mayor Ford has cut the MRAB program budget, and “now of several candidates, only Olivia Chow promises to protect the interests of low-income persons. “
One tenant participating in yesterday’s rally, York University student Anita Ewan, single mother, said daring to stand up and challenge the tenants’ lot is not easy, because a lot of people think they pay very low rent, so should not ask for much. “I spent the coldest time in winter without water for 22 days, my daughter and I did not know what to do. “
Residents within the city over the past year have raised more than 300 complaints, but still there is no improvement in living conditions.
Reporters then entered the building to understand the situation, seeing the cleanliness of the building is acceptable in public places, but the residents said management knew that today’s rally would happen, and held a cleanup blitz in advance to avoid being caught.
After just moving in a month ago, Susan Bassett has suffered her water and heat being turned off, and her one-bedroom unit costs a monthly rent of $895, but the housing environment is difficult to accept. “When I moved to the balcony full of dog feces, scratches everywhere, a communal laundry room downstairs where washing clothes makes them even dirtier than before washing.” she said.
Article by Limin She for Ming Pao Daily News