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.
 

Ottawa Leadership School a Success

Members from Ottawa's Mechanicsville Chapter hosted the second leadership school in our Ottawa Community Change Project with a focus on understanding the municipal process and ensuring poverty reduction measures play a vital role in City Hall's mandate. This was the largest turnout of any day-long leadership school we've ever held, with 36 members participating. Organizations such as the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) worked to build an agenda and collaborated on workshops for the school and we would like to thank them for their help and support.

Ottawa ACORN Member Jawahir Ismail who attended has this to say:" I learned how to speak up and that you must say your point about what your community needs are. You need a good plan to work through and set a goal that is realistic for the community."

Toronto tenants make livable housing an election issue

Tenant members of Toronto ACORN rallied outside of 1901 Weston Rd. with the hopes of making tenant issues a priority in the upcoming provincial election.

1901 Weston Rd., a building owned and maintained by Toronto Community Housing, is an example of the need to enforce both municipal and provincial apartment standards laws on all landlords - both private and public.  Many of the tenants of 1901 are seniors or have mobility issues and are forced to endure bedbug and cockroach infestations, unanswered work orders, bad elevators, high crime, and a recent flood that left dozens of tenants stranded without furniture or compensation.

Toronto ACORN has been fighting for a system of Landlord Licensing for 7 years that would include regular, pro-active inspections of apartment buildings, a Pass/Fail notification system, and a city administered escrow account.

Ottawa Metro: Tenants’ cries heard via Ottawa ACORN

Landlord has agreed to increase trash collection to twice per week. Regular meetings begin next month.
Anti-poverty activist group Ottawa ACORN is optimistic there will be progress on alleged maintenance and garbage-collection problems at the  Heron Gate rental complex.

The property manager of the complex, TransGlobe Property Management Services, has vowed to meet with Ottawa ACORN and a representative from the city on a monthly basis to report tenants’ concerns.

The planned meetings, which start on October 19, follow a private meeting on Sept. 12 between Mayor Jim Watson, Coun. Peter Hume, Ottawa ACORN, a TransGlobe representative, representatives from Dalton McGuinty’s office and bylaw enforcement.

The meeting was called after Ottawa ACORN made a public plea to the mayor to enforce bylaws they said TransGlobe was violating.

“The only reason I’m optimistic is because it was clear that the mayor and the councillor were so behind us,” Marx said.

TransGlobe regional manager Murray Osterer said the meeting was “very productive” and that they will happen. “We’re going to work closely with resident representatives and strengthen the lines of communication here,” he said.

 

 

Ottawa tenants celebrate Herongate progress

Last week Herongate tenants - lead by Chapter Co-Chair Erica Marx - met with Mayor Jim Watson, City Councillor Peter Humea, the CEO of Transglobe REIT and Starlight Properties (both formally Trangslobe Properties), representatives from Premier McGuinty’s office and municipal bylaw enforcement as part of an ongoing campaign to see pressure managment to perform repairs to the dilapidated complex.

With support from the Mayor and the City, Ottawa ACORN won a commitment from Transglobe to improve staffing, including sensitivity training, improved multi-lingual communication, and major new investments in maintenance.

The city answered our call for improved garbage collection in the community by increasing garbage pick up to twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays). The city has also asked Transglobe & Starlight to increase dumpster bin size and fix garbage chutes in buildings.

Bylaw enforcement and Ottawa ACORN will meet with the Management once a month to follow up on progress and to report tenant concerns.

 
 

580 CFRA: Bylaw Enforcing Laws at Heron Gate Residence: Mayor

Mayor Jim Watson says Bylaw Services is now "proactively" monitoring and enforcing property standards at Heron Gate residence.

Members of the [Ottawa] ACORN Heron Gate tenant group called on the Mayor to get involved to ensure property standard bylaws are enforced at the Alta Vista property.

The group cites rotting wood, mould and pest infestation as among the issues that are ignored by Transglobe Property management.

In a statement to CFRA News, Watson says Bylaw will take a "zero tolerance approach" and will conduct monthly meetings with all stakeholders to ensure units are repaired as required.

Watson has contacted the Mississauga company and indicated he expects them to maintain the building to property standards.

Original article available at: http://www.cfra.com/?cat=1&nid=81052

Ottawa Metro: Mayor pledges to aid Heron Gate

Mayor Jim Watson is frustrated that the city is spending time and effort on maintenance problems in the Heron Gate housing complex and says he will personally intervene to resolve the situation.

Tenants have been complaining for months about outstanding work orders to fix problems such as mouldy basement walls, vermin and garbage not being picked up.

“I have sympathies for the residents who have had some real challenges with the maintenance and cleanliness,” Watson said.

Watson is arranging a meeting in early September with property owner Transglobe Property Management Services, Ottawa ACORN and the Heron Gate community association.

Ottawa ACORN held a press conference yesterday with about 25 tenants to make a public plea to the mayor to enforce city bylaws, which they claim are being violated by Transglobe.

“Things have deteriorated over the years, but especially in the last four years since Transglobe took it on,” said Philip Rosen, a Heron Gate resident of 31 years.

Ottawa Citizen: Watson wants Heron Gate Property Properly Managed

OTTAWA — Mayor Jim Watson is putting pressure on landlord TransGlobe to address the shoddy state of its Heron Gate Village properties, scheduling a meeting with tenants and management for early September.

“We’ll get everything ironed out with property standards in one room at one time and try and resolve this. Because it’s frustrating when I see pictures of the condition of some of the units,” Watson said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “Hopefully that will be a catalyst for the landlord to act more responsibly.”

Tenants who live in the Heron Gate Village complex of townhouses and apartments continued their campaign to improve the condition of their units Monday morning, calling on Watson and the City of Ottawa to enforce bylaws and require TransGlobe, the company that owns the buildings, to live up to its obligations as landlord. On July 26, about 100 tenants marched through the complex, carrying posters with pictures of mould, garbage and flood damage and demanding TransGlobe complete outstanding repairs.

At a press conference at the Heron Road Community Centre organized by the tenants’ rights organization ACORN [Canada], residents said little has changed since the demonstration. Abdullahi Ali, who said he went without heat or hot water for a week this winter, said the city needs to step up penalties for property standards violations if TransGlobe won’t comply on its own.

580 CFRA: Group calls for bylaw enforcement

 

Mayor Jim Watson is being urged to enforce City bylaws around maintenance and standards of apartment buildings.

The Ottawa ACORN Herongate Tenants will hold a media conference on Monday to continue to fight for improved conditions at their apartment complexes.

The group claims Herongate had the most bylaw calls in 2009 for housing complaints.

ACORN Herongate Tenants say a meeting with management of the apartment building to discuss the situation was cancelled earlier this summer.

Original article available at: http://www.cfra.com/?cat=1&nid=80970

Your Ottawa Region: Vermin, mould is just the tip of the iceberg: Heron Gate tenants

Waving posters featuring dead mice and mould found in their apartments, Heron Gate-area residents shouted slogans like “don’t move, make your landlord improve” as they marched down Baycrest Drive to protest what they say is landlord negligence.

“My cat brought me a mouse from the basement yesterday. We’ve got bugs. We can only do so much. We don’t want to live like that. We pay a lot,” said Heron Gate-area resident Jennifer Macwaters, who lives in a three-bedroom apartment with her husband and two young children. “We want things fixed. Our parks are disgusting, (the landlords) don’t take care of the property and there’s garbage everywhere.”

Macwaters was one of roughly 50 people, including mothers and their children, who showed up for a rally hosted by Ottawa ACORN Heron Gate Tenants

Ottawa ACORN is a branch of ACORN Canada, an independent national organization of low and moderate income families.

 

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