Posted November 8, 2021
Seven current Stoney Creek ACORN members and nine community members came together last Saturday, October 30th at 12PM in Stoney Creek to demand change from the City and landlords. The tenants are dealing with high rent, black mould, cracked foundations, old drafty windows, pest infestations, repairs not getting done, long-term tenants facing pressure to move, and dismissal, aggression, and harassment from the landlords. These conditions are completely unacceptable.
Stoney Creek ACORN demanded the City of Hamilton prioritize affordable and safe housing. We also need a city-wide landlord licensing program to ensure landlords are keeping their buildings in good repair and bold action taken to create more affordable housing. For example, the LRT is going to end in Stoney Creek; we need a strong inclusionary zoning policy to get more affordable units on private land along the route. For the landlord, we demanded they:
- Ensure their buildings are in good repair. Tenants need repairs dealt with immediately, not months or years down the road. Update old buildings and update units in these buildings without illegal rent hikes
- Clean mould
- Replace windows
- Clean stairwells and hallways, air vents
- Pest infestations need to be dealt with quickly and effectively, and
- Landlords must treat tenants with respect and dignity
Four ACORN members gathered for a pre-action at Evelyn Court Apartments (12 Mountain Ave North), with Co-Chairperson Cristiano, Secretary/Treasurer Suzanne, and Chairperson Liz leading the action with speeches on the issues in the building and the changes we need to see from the City and landlords. Members delivered their demand letter to the building, requesting a meeting with the landlord to discuss these issues.
ACORN members then headed over to Dominic Agostino Riverdale Community Centre (150 Violet Drive) for the Main Action. Sixteen ACORN and community members joined the action to say enough is enough! Cristiano, Liz, and Suzanne made speeches on why these issues are important to them and why tenants cannot wait any longer. Members listed our demands, shouted chants and began the march.
The first stop enroute was 2520 Barton Street East, where Stoney Creek ACORN Chairperson Liz spoke about the disrepair of the building, the severe pest infestations with pest control sprays that never end, the high rent, and fear that the landlords instill in tenants to keep them quiet, and the months of waiting for repairs to be done - sometimes even resulting in injury to the tenants! Liz dropped off ACORN’s demand letter to the landlord, Golden Equity Properties.
Then the group continued to the next stop, Stoney Creek Towers (40 Grandville Avenue). There, Liz spoke again about the issues in the four buildings owned by CLV Group, specifically, the high rent - highest in the neighbourhood, the pressure on long-term tenants to move or accept renovations and then move back in at double the rent, and never-ending pest control sprays that do not fix the problem. Liz spoke about her mother who faces this pressure to move, repair issues that are purposely not fixed to force her to move, and harassment from the landlord.
The final stop, Bel Gal Estates (50 Jerome Crescent), owned by Effort Trust, has been falling apart for years, the rent is high, and the landlord’s are ineffectual, dismissive, and repairs take months to get done. Suzanne stood in for Anica, who was unable to be there, talking about the frustration Anica has faced trying to get issues resolved. The communication is poor and the landlord violates 24-hour notice laws, ignores noise violations, and has left structural problems unaddressed.
After delivering the Stoney Creek ACORN demand letter, the march finished back at the park for final speeches and solidarity. Tenants stuck around to swap stories about issues in their buildings and strategize next steps for our affordable housing & safe and healthy homes campaigns. Now we will call the landlord to see if they received the letter and insist we set up a meeting!
The action received press from Hamilton News and Global News 900CHML
Stoney Creek ACORN Co-Chair Cristiano's Interview with Rick Zamperin on Good Morning Hamilton