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."