Healthy Homes - Habitation saine

 
 
Every person deserves affordable, livable housing. In many low income neighbourhoods, tenants live with mold, pests, broken elevators, and other challenges because landlords will not do the repairs needed. ACORN Canada members fight for landlord licensing, building inspections, and stronger enforcement of maintenance rules and by-laws.
 
See our Healthy Homes demands here.
 

EMC News: ACORN calls for action on healthier homes, Anti-poverty group wants tougher regulations on landlords

Ottawa ACORN members rally for Healthy Homes. When Ronny Mosuro moved into her Cedarwood Drive apartment last October, she had a list of promises from her landlord to clean up the unit and rid it of bed bugs and cockroaches. Nearly a year later, the frustrated mother was nearly in tears as she addressed a crowd of protesters outside of Ben Franklin Place on July 11.

Ottawa ACORN, an anti-poverty advocacy group, met outside of the former Nepean city hall to show pictures of rental units in disrepair to councillors meeting for the last time before the summer break.

Mosuro said she moved into an apartment in the east end to save money, but was horrified to learn she would have to deal with insect infestations.

"My kids had never even heard of cockroaches or bed bugs," she said, pointing to an enlarged photo of her son's arm, pockmarked with bed bug bites. 

Jack Bogart, who served as the emcee for the protest, called what tenants living in sub par conditions were dealing with a "psychological assault."

"Living with these kinds of problems deteriorates the health of society's most vulnerable," he said. "It is often the working poor paying market rent living in these conditions. It attacks your sense of self worth."  

URGENT: MPPs Need to Hear from Tenants

On Tuesday, ACORN members took a message to Queen’s Park.

The justice committee was meeting to discuss Bill 19, which would amend the Residential Tenancies Act. There are important changes needed to that act, but Bill 19 as it’s currently written won’t make any of them.

What’s needed? An end to vacancy decontrol. Right now, rent increases are only regulated for as long as an individual tenant lives in an apartment. When they move out the rent can be dramatically increased. This puts long term tenants in the crosshairs of unscrupulous landlords, and it leads to unsustainable increases in the cost of rental housing. ACORN is calling for real rent control in Ontario.

Defend Social Housing

rallyThere’s an affordable and livable housing crisis in Canada.

For years now, ACORN members from coast to coast have fought for housing that is clean and safe.

Part of the solution must be public housing - supported by federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Right now there are 982,000 families facing core housing need. The private sector can not provide what they need.

In the midst of this crisis, the Harper government is not only failing to make badly needed investments in public housing; they’re also on the verge of letting tens of thousands more units become unaffordable. In the last six years, subsidies for 16,500 units of housing have disappeared.

Between now and 2015, 72,000 more could become unaffordable.

ACORN members are joining individuals and organizations across the country, including the Red Tent campaign, to demand continued support for the public housing we have, as well as investment in the housing we need.

In Toronto? Come to a rally at Conservative MP Roxanne James' office in Scarborough Center, 1450 Midland Ave (at Lawrence). This Saturday, May 26 at 2 PM 

Get more information from a local ACORN office.

Tenants in New Westminster Stand up to Slum Landlords

ACORN Canada members in BC were at it again, going after problem landlords and holding them accountable as part of our larger Healthy Homes Campaign.  This time in New Westminster, ACORN members had city inspectors out to inspect their building and at the same time held an action to demand their landlord, the Sahota family, clean up their act.  

You may remember from previous BC updates that this isn’t the first time a building owned by the Sahota family has been in the news.  Less than two months ago, a member in Surrey won a precedent setting fina against the family for failing to maintain a building in Surrey.   Moving forward ACORN will be laying out reforms to the Residential Tenancy Act, and reforms to how the act is enforced, as well as turning up the heat on the Sahota family and other slum landlords who think having families live in hellacious conditions is acceptable. Stay tuned for this as our members have no plans of stopping until everyone has a healthy home!

Cape Breton ACORN Continues Impressive Growth

Cape Breton ACORN is growing fast! Dozens of people came together to rally (link) for affordable and livable housing, and hundreds are now involved. Members are planning the next steps of their Healthy Homes campaign, and deciding what other issues to build campaigns in response to.

There’s an important municipal election on the horizon in Cape Breton, and ACORN Canada members will be working hard to make sure tenants’ voices are heard. Member-organizers will work door-to-door to boost voter turnout and make their issues into election issues.

To get involved, contact Cape Breton ACORN (http://www.acorncanada.org/contact)!

Inside Toronto: Toronto tenants, politicians to talk rent control

Toronto politicians and tenants will talk this Saturday, May 12, afternoon about whether Ontario's government should reinstate permanent rent controls and allow the city to license its landlords.

ACORN Canada (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada) has fought for a system of landlord licensing in Toronto which would force landlords to pay for repairs, but it cannot happen without changes in provincial law.

The advocacy group, which says the city's rents "continue to skyrocket" as buildings deteriorate, also wants to see the province return to rent controls which limit permitted rent increases on apartments whether or not those apartments are vacant.

Liberal and New Democrat MPPs and city councillors have been invited to a provincial housing forum on these issues at 1:30 p.m. at the Ontario Federation of Labour building on Gervais Drive, near the corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East.

Original article available at: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1353953--toronto-tenants-politicians-to-talk-rent-control

Ottawa Citizen: Tenants group presses for better housing standards

ACORN members show their support during a rally at Sandalwood Park on Wednesday to press the City of Ottawa for better housing standards.  OTTAWA — Members of Ottawa ACORN rallied Wednesday in Sandalwood Park to press the City of Ottawa for better housing standards in their battle to get quicker action from landlords on repair and maintenance issues.

About 20 members were at the park near Herongate Mall, holding signs that read “We Want Healthy Homes” and “Make Landlords Accountable” and reiterating their concerns about the need to live in safe and clean housing.

ACORN Ottawa has about 9,700 members and is one of the largest tenant organizations in the city.

1310 News: Herongate residents denounce 'appalling' living conditions

Their bathrooms are leaking, their ceilings are caving.

Some homes have birds nesting in the walls, other mould growing on the window sills. Many have been waiting months on end for their landlord to make repairs.

Now they are calling for the city to step in.

Members of ACORN Ottawa, a low to moderate income rights group, is pushing for better housing and more rights for tenants as part of its campaign for healthy homes in the city. 

A group of about 20 residents and ACORN members rallied at Sandalwood Park Wednesday afternoon.

CFRA: ACORN Calls for Healthy Homes

Ottawa ACORN wants to make sure tenants live in safe and clean housing.

The group will launch a campaign today for Healthy Homes in Ottawa.

ACORN wants the City of Ottawa to create an action plan on how to bring problem properties to a "Healthy Home" standard, including a minimum timeframe for landlords to respond to repairs and maintenance requests and improving the fine system.

The City is also being urged to improve the minimum standards for residential properties

http://www.cfra.com/?cat=1&nid=86126

CTV: New claims of neglect made against infamous landlords

BC ACORN rallies for Healthy Homes in New Westminister.A notorious B.C. family of landlords is facing new allegations of neglect from tenants in New Westminster who say they went without running water for two weeks.

Residents of the building at 1210 Cameron Street say they've also dealt with mouldy floors, leaky ceilings and rodents, but owners Pal and Gurdyal Sahota aren't doing enough to fix it.

"There's mice in just about every unit. They're in the walls; you can hear them. In the basement, there's rats, there's various bugs, silverfish, cockroaches, bedbugs," renter John Dykema told reporters at a tenant rally Thursday.

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