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.
 

Tenants Vote 2010

In the last 5 years we’ve petitioned, we’ve picketed, and we’ve organized.

But the next 16 months leading up the municipal election are going to decide whether Toronto City Council is interested in improving standards for tenants or simply letting the status quo remain.

Today, Toronto ACORN is announcing a plan to escalate this campaign.

In the coming months every City Councilor will have a chance to vote on an ACORN-backed proposal to levy a fee on large landlords to fund pro-active apartment inspections.

Toronto ACORN is pledging to use this vote as a yardstick to identify a number of key ridings to run aggressive campaigns to increase the tenant voter turnout by 25% in support of councilors or candidates who support tenants.

But we need our supporters online to send a message to council and let them know we’re serious. Can you help? (Just click the link below)

www.tenantsvote2010.ca

Tenants Vote 2010

In the last 5 years we’ve petitioned, we’ve picketed, and we’ve organized.

But the next 16 months leading up the municipal election are going to decide whether Toronto City Council is interested in improving standards for tenants or simply letting the status quo remain.

In the coming months every City Councilor will have a chance to vote on an ACORN-backed proposal to levy a fee on large landlords to fund pro-active apartment inspections.

But we need our supporters online to send a message to council and let them know we’re serious. Can you help? (Just click the link below)

Click to Send a Message to Mayor Miller and Council >>

Ontario Budget Response

Yesterday the Government of Ontario released their budget for the coming fiscal year.

The budget contains a number of tax changes, spending programs and direct payments to Ontarians, but ACORN would like to highlight investment in one particular area; Affordable Housing.

In the lead up to the federal budget ACORN, along with our allies, ran an energetic campaign urging the federal government to use their stimulus spending to build and repair Canada’s affordable housing stock.

While the federal government opted to provide rebates to consumers who re-pave their driveway or build a new deck at their cottage, it appears Queen’s Park got the message.

The budget is calling for the renovation of 50,000 existing social housing units and the construction of 45,000 new affordable housing units.

Two further points around this issue are also encouraging; first, the money provided has a two year life span, helping create a sense of urgency around affordable housing that had been lacking in recent years.  As well, Finance Minister Duncan told the CBC that in some cases municipalities may not be required to provide matching funds to access the money.

Budget for Housing: Build the Economy

The Federal Government is announcing a budget and stimulus package on January 27th.

The time to act is now.

ACORN is calling for the budget / stimulus package to include $1.8 Billion for two housing initiatives. First, a national affordable housing strategy to build new affordable housing, and secondly a national fund to provide resources to Provinces and Municipalities to repair their existing social housing stock (as called for in the CCPA AFB, 2009).

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Click Here to Send an Email to Harper, Flaherty and Ignatieff

This will accomplish three key goals: Creating new living wage jobs to stimulate the economy, improving the quality of the existing social housing infrastructure and building much needed new affordable housing.

Currently, as many as 1.5 million Canadians are experiencing core housing need, meaning that they are under-housed or face an unsustainable financial burden to maintain their current housing situation (CMHC).

ACORN Featured in the Toronto Sun

ACORN Member Shows Toronto Sun Slum-Like Conditions in his Apartment

BEN SPENCER, SUN MEDIA  July 4th, 2008

If it wasn't so serious, it would almost be funny.

Michael Fitz Gerald peered up at the gaping hole in the ceiling above a neighbour's shower and shook his head.

From this third-floor Scarborough hellhole, he had a clear view of the piping leading to his bathtub on the fourth floor.

That's what six weeks of leaking pipes will do to 40-year-old drywall. While he may be at wit's end over his landlord's inaction, Fitz Gerald hasn't lost his sense of humour. "I just hope my tub doesn't fall through into her shower some day," he said.

 

Toronto ACORN Liveable Housing Forum

November 5th, 2008 - Toronto ACORN will be holding a Livable Housing Forum on Saturday, November 8th at 1pm at the Main Square Community Center (245 Main St., just south of Danforth).  The event is a part of ACORN's campaign to License Landlords in Toronto in the most effective way possible.

Toronto's neighborhoods are riddled with sub-standard living conditions forcing tenants to put up with black mold, bed bugs, and a lack of repairs, cleaning and maintenance.  Toronto ACORN members have been holding rallies and actions at slum-buildings around the city for 3 years to pressure the city to hold landlords accountable to their tenants.

City Hall is going to decide soon whether we get a strong licensing system or a weak one.  Toronto ACORN members demand to be heard!  We are inviting every city councilor in Toronto to attend the event.

Work isn't Working for Ontario Families

There have been two important developments in recent weeks of ACORN members taking the lead in the fight to put low and moderate income voices at the center of the discussion around poverty reduction.

First, on May 14th, 40 leading ACORN members traveled from across Toronto to Queen's Park to press their elected representatives on our Provincial Platform. ACORN  members  met with senior members of the Ontario Government as well as the Provincial NDP Caucus  and   brought with them a clear message:

Cap Payday Loan Rates - Ensure that the rate cap in the payday loan legislation focuses on returning money to working families.

License Temp Agencies - To fund pro-active inspections of labour conditions and  set maximum charges that agencies are able to charge employee's for work placements.

Raise the minimum wage - To $11/hour and peg it to inflation.

Report Card on Affordable Housing

Day of Action for a National Housing Strategy

Toronto / Ottawa / Metro Vancouver – ACORN Canada will be hosting rallies in three cities across Canada on Thursday July 10th as we release our National Report Card on the State of Affordable Housing.

Click Here to Download and Read the Report >>>

Can make the rally? Send a message to Harper in support>>>

The report card shows how the abdication of leadership by the Federal Government over the last decade in the area of housing policy has let Canada slip below international standards and will outline the deficiencies of Canada’s failure to introduce a national strategy for housing.

Canada is the only major country without a national housing strategy (Wellesley Institute Housing report 2008).

In addition to the report card, we will be calling on the Federal Government to take a number of common sense steps to stop Canada’s decline as an international laggard in Housing Policy.

-Renew and extend the three federal housing and homelessness programs that are due to expire this year (federal homelessness strategy, federal housing repair program, federal affordable housing initiative).

-Maintain the current investment in affordable housing (reverse the policy decision of 1996 that locks in a rapidly decreasing annual housing funding cut).

-Meet Canada's international housing obligations by adopting a comprehensive and fully-funded national housing program.

-Establish a minister responsible for housing, with wide-ranging mandates and
responsibilities

ACORN Organizing in the Spotlight

ACORN Members Featured in News Stories Across the Country!

Toronto / Ottawa / Metro Vancouver – Whether it's Landlord Licensing or a National Housing Strategy, ACORN Members are getting organized to win real change, and they're getting noticed.

Check out these quotes about our work:

From The Editorial Page of the Star on July 16th:

"Yet another report, this one from low-income people themselves, has blasted the federal government for failing to do enough to provide affordable housing in this country.  ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, gave the federal government an F in all four housing measures it analyzed in its report, released last week."

From the Toronto Sun on July 5th:

"The city is committed to establishing a landlord licensing regime, said Councillor Howard Moscoe…The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) wants the city to create programs that protect tenants and equalize their relationship with landlords. They want rental units to be inspected the same way restaurants are routinely reviewed and have the inspections posted."

From the Vancouver Metro on July 11th:

Members of ACORN were in Burnaby yesterday to demand the establishment of a housing minister and distribute their report card... "We have a huge crisis," she said. "The feds are rolling in surpluses … Where does that money go?" Cynthia Wiens, a resident of an affordable housing complex in Surrey, said that money should be going toward more social housing.

ACORN Members begin Licensing Landlords

Toronto – ACORN members in two neighbourhoods in Toronto frustrated by the slow pace of change from City Hall have begun Licensing Landlords themselves.

In East York, ACORN members from 500 Dawes rd. posted a "Fail" notice on the front door of their building. “Landlords abuse the weaknesses of the existing system to get around providing a safe and healthy environment for rent-paying tenants, and tenants are left with almost no protection” says Ahmed Makhlouf, a member of ACORN.

In Weston, ACORN members living at 15 and 25 Martha Eaton Way failed thier landlord MetCap, after even the most basic of repairs remain unfinished.  Resident and ACORN member Maria Valencia said this about the event; “It’s only fair if we’re following the contract and paying our rents that landlords hold up their end of the bargain and do repairs and maintenance,”

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