Frustrated tenants have formed new groups to draw attention to the impact of high rents and to push for changes to rent increase rules.
A story about how CBC reporter Shannon Martin’s Toronto rent went up by nearly $1,000 a month, turning her into a 32-year-old couch surfer, has put renewed focus on a long-standing issue for Toronto renters.
The story led to the creation of a Toronto Housing Woes Facebook group which gained more than 1,000 followers in one week. CBC will be covering tenant issues for 10 days starting tomorrow.
ACORN Canada, which has a long history of advocating for better conditions for tenants, is urging tenants to sign a petition to push for new rules around rent control.
In February 2017, a fed up renter launched the Fighting Above-Guideline Increases (AGI) in Ontario Facebook group.
Many long-time Park Vista tenants are aware of the impact of above-guideline increases (AGIs) as CAPREIT filed applications for AGIs for 2, 6, 7 & 8 Park Vista in recent years. Although the Park Vista Tenants’ Association was able to obtain reductions in the amount the landlord was seeking, the current rules allow landlords to pass along large costs – even in units subject to rent controls. That’s because there is no legal requirement for landlords to set aside a portion of the rent for major repairs.
For rental units built after November 1991 (which aren’t subject to rent controls), the sky’s the limit for rent hikes. That’s how Shannon Martin’s rent went up $950 to $2,600.
What can you do to help push for change?
· Sign the ACORN online petition
· Join the Toronto Housing Woes Facebook group or Fighting Above-Guideline Increases (AGI) in Ontario Facebook group.
Momentum is growing. Make sure your voice is heard.
And spread the word to friends, family and neighbours. There is strength in numbers.