Ottawa National Housing Day Rally for Affordable & Livable Housing for ALL!

Ottawa ACORN Housing rally

Posted November 22, 2019

There was a great turnout for Ottawa ACORN’s National Housing Day Action outside City Hall today! 80 passionate members and allies attended and were willing to brave the cold to fight for the right to affordable, livable housing in Ottawa. The rally began with an Indigenous welcome and land acknowledgment from ACORN member Candyrose Freeman, and was hosted by longtime ACORN members Bader Abu-Zahra and Mavis Finamore, who kept spirits high with chants in between speeches! After introducing themselves and ACORN, Bader and Mavis reminded everyone the goals of this event; to fight for the rights of low-income people who are paying market rent for substandard housing conditions, especially those who are lost in the gaps of our current system due to the countless barriers preventing tenants from calling 3-1-1 (ex. language barriers or not knowing this service even exists). In addition, ACORN’s goals were to draw attention to the homelessness crisis in Ottawa, to advocate for more affordable housing, to fight for our members in Herongate and other low-income neighbourhoods, and to recommend City Hall passes ACORN’s landlord registration campaign at the vote this Wednesday, Nov 27 at 10 am, to assure that all levels of government make affordable and livable housing for all a priority! 
Today’s action included several moving speeches, beginning with City Councillor Catherine McKenney, also the liaison for housing and homelessness, who spoke in support of declaring a state of emergency for housing in Ottawa! We also heard stories from ACORN member Michaela Fitzpatrick about her experiences with bad housing, as well as speeches from Arwen McKechnie, a Community Health Worker at Somerset West Community Health and Resource Centre, Michelle Biss, the Policy Director and Human Rights Lawyer with Canada Without Poverty, and Melanie Stafford, a Community Developer at the Orleans Cumberland Community Resource Centre. 
ACORN was incredibly grateful to have the support of 13 incredible groups for this action! Thank you to:
  • Somerset West Community Health and Resource Centre
  • Canada Without Poverty
  • the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)
  • the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU)
  • the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), Raging Grannies Ottawa
  • the Ottawa Carleton Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (OCETFO)
  • the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
  • the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 503
  • the Co-Operative Housing Federation of Canada
  • Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa
  • Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres
  • Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA)


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