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Tenants shocked and appalled at City of Hamilton’s actions at the Property Standards Committee - ACORN Canada

Tenants shocked and appalled at City of Hamilton’s actions at the Property Standards Committee

Posted February 22, 2023

Yesterday the property standards committee met to hear the appeal for 1083 Main St E.

7 remaining households at 1083 Main St E have gone 8 weeks without running water in their apartments. Since December 27th there has been no hot water and since December 28th no water at all.

Tenants first contacted the City of Hamilton bylaw services on December 28th and heard back on January 3rd that the city was giving the landlord a 19-day order to complete the repair work. The order expired on January 24th, however the landlord appealed the order.

At the hearing, to the surprise of ACORN and tenants of 1083 Main St E, the city and landlord presented a joint submission agreeing that the order does need to be complied with but that the repair work cannot take place with the tenants living there.

The committee approved the city and landlord’s request to wait until after the March 8th Landlord and Tenant Board hearing to determine the timeline for the repairs.

Tenants are shocked and extremely disappointed that the city has taken this position.

Tenant of 17 years Chad Ward says “I am beyond stressed. It has taken a toll on my health – mentally and physically. I am not sleeping well. It’s on your mind every hour but my family cannot afford to move.”

ACORN member and tenant of 19 years David Galvin’s reaction to the hearing decision: “I am shocked and appalled that the city would take the landlord’s side. Tenants are under a tremendous amount of stress. With the committee’s decision we see no sign water will be restored anytime soon. The city should be protecting tenants’ right to housing and water.”

Tenants are in disbelief that the city would further delay repair to the pipes and the return of water to the tenant’s apartments.

Tenants are challenging that the landlord’s claim for vacancy is in good faith and have retained a lawyer through support of the City of Hamilton Tenant Defense Fund.

ACORN is calling on the City of Hamilton to:

  • Explain to the public and tenants of 1083 Main St E why the city presented a joint submission with the landlord instead of seeking immediate compliance or initiating the city to do the repairs themselves.
  • Investigate strengthening Hamilton’s property standards bylaw and vital services bylaw to prevent a similar situation in the future.
  • Pass a city wide landlord licensing program to ensure landlords are keeping their properties in good repair and restricting renoviction.
  • Improvements to the tenant defence fund and development of a proactive tenant education program.