Housing

State of Renters During COVID-19: Survey Report

Posted on April 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 has changed our lives like never before by bringing a unique set of issues. However, these challenges get even more complex and compounded for people who are already living at the margins. Statistics continue to paint a grim picture when it comes to access to affordable and healthy housing in Canada and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation will only worsen especially for renters and those on low-income or belong to the most vulnerable sections of the population. ACORN Canada reached out to 1082 people across Canada to understand the issues people are facing during the pandemic, especially those relating to their ability to pay rent as it falls due again on May 1st and the problems they are encountering in their buildings/apartments as  lack of maintenance and repair poses a major public health risk especially during a pandemic. This report provides the main findings of this survey and calls for urgent measures that governments need to take to ensure that people at the margins get the support they need in times of this health and economic crisis. 

 

Herongate: The Case for RentSafe Ottawa

Ottawa ACORN's campaign for a landlord registry similar to Toronto's RentSafe bylaw is based on over a decade’s worth of community organizing, as well as the countless experiences of our low to moderate income members shared through forums, phone calls and home visits. For the past 13 years, ACORN organizers have gone door-to-door in low-income neighbourhoods, where the state of people’s housing remains their number one concern. ACORN sees the implementation of a landlord registry as an opportunity to address the gaps in our current property standards system; to ensure that everyone’s right to housing is protected and that every tenant has a healthy home.

Ottawa ACORN’s Response to Maclaren Group’s Policy Options Report on Housing Conditions

Ottawa ACORN members are in the final sprint for their campaign for landlord licensing. After convincing city council to include landlord licensing as part of the City's "regulating rental accommodations" review, members have organized Tenant Speak Outs, days of action at City Hall, door knocked in bad apartment buildings, released reports, engaged the media and have met with the City's consultants three times. The consultants from Maclaren Group have released their report on policy options for housing conditions and are asking for feedback before submitting their recommendations to City Hall. 
 
Read Ottawa ACORN's response here: 

Housing Horror Stories: The Tenants' Case for Landlord Licensing in Ottawa

This collection of tenant testimonials shows that the City of Ottawa needs to do more to improve housing conditions.
 
Tenants are living in substandard conditions without the necessary support to allow them to stand up to landlords and have their needs met. The Property Standards By-law has more procedural steps and delays than most by-laws in addition to any notice of violation being unenforceable.
 
The City's review on regulating rental accommodations is a good first step in addressing tenants' very real concerns regarding the state of their housing. It is Ottawa ACORN members' hope that this sample of housing horror stories will demonstrate to our city that substandard housing conditions is a systematic issue that warrants urgent attention. We need landlord licensing NOW!

Ottawa ACORN: The Fight for the Right to Housing and a No Displacement CBA in Herongate

Community benefits agreements (CBAs) are legally enforceable contracts signed by community groups and a private developer or government agency. CBAs can result  in a range of benefits for community members, such as jobs and training; community  amenities,  support  for local  business,  affordable  housing and other provisions. 
 
As a community organization of low and moderate income families and individuals fighting for social and economic justice, ACORN is invested in ensuring community benefits agreements meet the needs of the communities we work with. 

ACORN Canada’s submission to the Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario Consultation

As an organization of low and moderate income people, the issue of housing affordability is a priority concern for our members. Specifically, our members are concerned about the desperate need for deeply affordable rental housing that is affordable in the long term. Almost half of Ontario renters live in unaffordable housing. Yet since 1990, less than 9 per cent of new developments in the province have been rental housing. Urgent action is required to address this housing crisis, we call upon the provincial government to take leadership to create real affordable housing options.

Hamilton Tenants Demand A Better City from City Hall

Hamilton is in an affordable and livable housing crisis. This is a trend seen across most major Canadian cities, that will worsen with no government action. The City of Hamilton has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. If the city continues on its current path of protecting developers and landlords over working class communities, more and more tenants will lose affordable housing or be forced to remain in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

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