Posted October 16, 2019
Today, October 16th, ACORN members organized a press conference to urge the city to take action on ACORN’s campaign for a Landlord Registry (RentSafe). Members Margeret Alluker and Lisa Brinston were interviewed about their experiences living in Herongate, and the numerous issues they faced, all of which prompted very little action from Timbercreek. From windows being broken during the winter (therefore exposing children to freezing cold, unsafe conditions in their home), constant cockroaches and bedbugs, lightbulbs catching on fire, and broken screens, the problems they mentioned are things that no tenant should ever have to deal with.
In these members’ experience, the response to their problems from the city and especially Timbercreek have been lacking. During the time her problems were at their worst, Lisa’s landlord told her that her problems were insignificant, making her a low priority, and that other tenants had it worse. This was an incredibly upsetting thing for her to hear, and rightfully so. Margeret made an excellent point in stating that tenants are the ones who pay landlord’s bills; therefore, landlords should take care of them, instead of being more concerned about their paychecks than the people they are meant to be looking after.
Gisele Bouvier, Ottawa ACORN board member, also spoke, and she urged the city to register landlords similar to Toronto’s RentSafe program. She also noted the importance of tenants showing up in full force to the LAST public consultation for a landlord registry on October 22nd from 6-8 pm at 101 Centrepointe Dr (Ben Franklin Place).
ACORN members also presented a report, titled Herongate: The Case for RentSafe Ottawa, which contains 92 work order forms from tenants in Herongate. The report was filled with property standards violations, and is clear evidence that complaint-based systems are ineffective. For instance, of the 92 tenants included in the report, only 20% knew about 3-1-1. ACORN sent the work order forms to Bylaw in order to schedule mass inspections in Herongate, to ensure that tenants finally receive the repairs they deserve. However, in order to consistently make tenants a priority, a Landlord Registry is necessary.