Margaret is a dedicated mother, a student, and a fighter for social justice. After moving to the Heron Gate area of Ottawa in 2012, she experienced unhealthy living conditions and was later evicted in September 2018, along with over 100 other families in the neighbourhood. The landlord wanted to demolish their affordable family townhomes and replace them with luxury rentals. Friends that Margaret had made while living in the Heron Gate community, who had been living there for up to 30 years, were also given notice to vacate their homes. With the waiting list for low-income housing being 8-10 years, Margaret, and many others, needed to downsize. But she found that rents were skyrocketing in Ottawa, and ended up paying more for her monthly rent. This issue became very important to Margaret and has shaped her experience with ACORN.
Margaret first became involved with ACORN three years ago, when ACORN organizers came knocking on doors in her neighbourhood, asking what issues she and her neighbours wanted to see change. She was asked if she wanted to get involved to fight back. For the past two years, Margaret has been the elected secretary of the South-East Ottawa ACORN chapter. Since becoming involved with ACORN, Margaret has been involved in a number of campaigns, such as the fight for affordable housing and “Internet for All”. Through ACORN, Margaret has become even more aware of the issues and events taking place in Ottawa, especially surrounding communities involving low income-people, newcomers, and people with disabilities.
Among Ottawa ACORN’s top priorities are landlord licensing and affordable housing for all. Margaret believes that holding landlords accountable for substandard housing is extremely important. She thinks that politicians and other decision-makers need to become more educated on issues which affect low to moderate income Ottawans and stand up for these individuals. Like thousands of other ACORN members, Margaret knows that ACORN’s demands will make the city of Ottawa a more livable place for all.