Ottawa ACORN

404 McArthur Ave. (Heartwood House) Ottawa, ON K1K 1G8

Phone: 613-746-5999

ottawa@acorncanada.org

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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

Standard Freeholder: Finding allies for ODSP fight

OTTAWA — A lone wolf who has been fighting the Ontario government on his own over claims of discrimination now has an ally.

'Crazy' Dave Thomasson believes his rights — and those of thousands more — are being violated by the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

But his efforts to have ODSP regulations changed in court were foiled by the provincial government.

Now Thomasson has plunked down $10 to join ACORN Ottawa, which organized a lobbying effort this week to influence the province's social assistance review commission.

"ACORN strongly supports and agrees with my position with the ODSP, and they are willing to bring it to the public in Ottawa (at the commission's hearings)," Thomasson said.

ACORN converted the gist of Thomasson's claims onto a flyer, which is being distributed to participants at the hearings.

In the flyer, ACORN has adopted Thomasson's challenge to the provincial government: "Prove Me Wrong, McGuinty Can't" which is accompanied by a $1,000 prize for anyone who proves the ODSP complies with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It's been 1,640 days since Thomasson issued his challenge.

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.

 

Ottawa Metro: Clean this place up, Heron Gate residents demand

About 50 angry Heron Gate tenants and members of Ottawa ACORN rallied outside their homes yesterday to say they are fed up with garbage not being picked up, mould growing on their walls and rats running wild. But it was unclear what action might be taken or what the property manager intends to do about it.

TransGlobe Property Management Services, which owns the Heron Gate rental complex, took over direct control of managing the property just four weeks ago, after contracting it out for years, a spokesman said. “I don’t know what happened over the last several months or years in that building and the work of the last management firm that was in there,” spokesman Danny Roth said.

 

CBC Ottawa: Heron Gate residents protest squalid conditions

Dozens living in squalour at one of Ottawa's most complained-about residential complexes protested what they called deplorable living conditions on Tuesday.

The tenants of several apartments at Heron Gate are calling for the property management firm, TransGlobe, to improve their living conditions. They've previously complained about infestations of vermin, mould, and a lack of proper building maintenance.

"It's just completely disgusting," said tenant Jennifer Macwaters. "It smells awful and it's unsafe for me, my kids. It affects all of us."

Erica Marx, who is with the local advocacy group ACORN, organized the action on Tuesday. She said a lamppost in the common area behind her home collapsed last year and one of her children, as well as another child, both received electric shocks from the post while playing outside.

TransGlobe, based in Mississauga, Ont., eventually cut the wires.

Ottawa Takes Pride as Host of Community Change Summit

Ottawa members took great pride as the host city for our first ever National Community Change Summit.

"It was powerful! I learned a lot from the speakers and workshops, met other members who had similar issues from other cities and realized: we are not in this alone - we’re all in this together.” -Leading member John Redins

As part of the host city, Ottawa members volunteered at the event as greeters and hosts, helped make transportation arrangements to get to and from activities each day and helped with the planning committee that had been making arrangements in the weeks leading up to the Summit.


Ottawa Citizen: Group seeks cap on money-transfer fees

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Pascal Apuwa, 38, moved to Canada six years ago from a small village in Kenya. Like many foreign-born Canadians he sends money back to his family in Africa every month. But Apuwa says he's tired of paying the fees money transfer organizations, such as Western Union, place on remittance payments.

He and members of the organization ACORN [Canada], the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, [Canada] are asking federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to cap the fees money transfer organizations can place on remittance payments at five per cent. The group is holding a protest outside the Bank of Canada at 10: 30 a.m. today.

"There is no transparent explanation why it costs me $25 to send $100 to my family in Kenya," Apuwa said. "The only reason I've found is that they think it's all right to pull profits from my family living in a slum in Africa."

According to Statistics Canada, 41 per cent of foreign-born residents living in Canada send money back to their families abroad. Apuwa says he is sometimes charged as much as 16 per cent to send money back home and says there are often additional unexplained charges his family must pay in order to collect the money in Africa. "I feel so bad about it," he said. "This is not the way to help people, I want justice to be done here."

You can find the original article at: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Group+seeks+money+transfer+fees/4973037/story.html

Pancake breakfast helps Ottawa prepare to host Community Change Summit

On Sunday May 29th Ottawa members held a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at St. Joseph's Church.

Members served food, engaged the community on campaigns and issues and received almost $1000 of support for the National Community Change Summit. All food and supplies were donated to the organization from local businesses and stores.

Member Audrey Kakogee says, "I had a good time helping out and working with other members from across the city!" Board member Kathleen Fortin adds, "We had a good turnout of members and appreciate all the donations from the community. I'm looking forward to the next one."

 

Ottawa ACORN is dialing for dollars

VoluneersOttawa ACORN members are "dialing for dollars" this spring to help raise funds for the National Community Change Summit June 18-20.  Adrian Profitos and Michelle Walrond have raised $300 collectively and are still going strong to help Ottawa members attend.

Michelle, a proud grandmother is active in many campaigns including the living wage, tenant's rights, and the campaign to increase ODSP/OW. She lives in our South Ottawa Chapter and recently moved to Quarry Co-Op Housing where she is working to help involve her neighbors in Ottawa ACORN.

Adrian is a student at the University of Ottawa living in our Vanier Chapter and is active in any campaign he can help with and strongly believes in all the work members want to achieve.

If you’d like to chip in to support the Community Change Summit, you can do it here: https://www.acorncanada.org/donate-now

 

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