Organizing works! London ACORN wins first steps in the campaign for a renoviction bylaw and landlord licensing
Posted January 9, 2024
Today, London’s Community and Protective Services Committee voted unanimously in favor of a motion to move the city forward on tenant protections from renoviction and predatory landlord practices.
The amended motion that passed was a compromise between the motion put forward last month by Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis, Mayor Josh Morgan and Councillor Peter Cuddy, and the motion put forward by Councillor Sam Trosow earlier this week.
The motion was moved by Mayor Josh Morgan, seconded by councillor David Ferreira, and directed Civic Administration to:
• Report back to the committee with recommendations on “a spectrum of municipal options to limit or prevent renovictions” by the end of September 2024.
• Receive and refer to both the motion put forward by Lewis, Morgan and Cuddy and the motion put forward by Trosow for consideration with respect to requiring landlords to file N12 and N13 notices with the city in the report back.
• Include in the report back on the feasibility of expanding the RRUL (Residential Rental Unit Licensing – the current landlord licensing bylaw in London which only applies to buildings with 4 units or less) to include all multi-unit dwellings up to and including 4 stories in height (also including units in basement levels).
• The motion also notes that the CPS committee will not be limited in the future from considering additional motions around property standards compliance matters at a future meeting.
London ACORN members filled the stands of the council chambers with red as they waited to hear how council would vote on the motion. During discussion, the committee acknowledged that there is a lot of work to be done to stop predatory landlord practices like renovictions and improve housing in London. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” Lewis noted – a comment which we hope means that the committee’s intention is to tackle the entire “elephant”, one step at a time. Trosow added that the goal is to develop a “comprehensive anti-displacement strategy.”
In an exciting development, the Community and Protective Services committee voted unanimously 6-0 on the motion, which would not have been raised without the hard work of ACORN members’ campaigning on the urgent need for action from the city. During the meeting, Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis commended ACORN’s efforts, stating:
“I also want to thank the folks from ACORN who met with me back in November and raised the N12 and N13 issue in particular. When we had our meeting, that was one that really struck me as an opportunity for some municipal tools to become involved around our rental unit licensing. I want to acknowledge their work in bringing that to my attention and councillor Cuddy’s attention and giving us an opportunity to see what we can do with that, to have some conversations with staff. So that’s how we got to where we are today”
Next, the motion will go to council at the next London City Council meeting on January 23rd, and a public participation meeting will be scheduled for members in the community to make comments.
This was a fantastic start to the new year, and we’re very excited to work towards stopping renovictions and other predatory landlord practices in London! In the coming months as we get organized for city staff’s report, you can expect London ACORN to doorknock on thousands of doors, make countless phone calls, plan direct actions, tenant meetings, big townhalls and engage the media/city councillors to fight to ensure the City’s NEXT step is to introduce a renoviction bylaw, landlord licensing and tenant defense fund.
Want to support our organizing? Add your name to the online action here and/or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!