Brendan Jowett, Staff Housing Lawyer
The Government of Ontario is ramming a bill through the legislature which will fast-track evictions, limit tenant rights at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), allow illegal rent increases, and turn the LTB into a debt dispute agency.
With tens of thousands of renters struggling or unable to pay the rent in the midst of a pandemic, tenants are looking for meaningful rent relief, stronger rent control, and protection from evictions. Bill 184, which passed second reading on May 27, 2020 with almost no advance notice, addresses none of these concerns. It is a Trojan horse which will hurt tenants in the long run.
By Jennifer Stone (Executive Director) & Brendan Jowett (Staff Housing Lawyer)
On May 15, 2020, we joined community members along Lakeshore Blvd. W., between Spadina and Bay St., where the City of Toronto had given residents notice that they intended to clear tents and belongings of homeless people camped under the Gardiner Expressway. It was rainy and cold.
The eviction notice originally said that the clearance would take place before 8am at Spadina and Lakeshore. A bit of cat-and-mouse took place instead. A community organizer at Lakeshore & Bay Street alerted us that in fact the frontloader/garbage trucks were there at 8am and set to clear another encampment. Those who had gathered at Spadina ran to Bay. You’ve perhaps seen the dramatic image of an elementary school teacher named Ana standing between a tent and bulldozer.
NLS joins other community organizations to urge all levels of government to address the overlapping housing, income security and opioid crises which are amplified by Covid19
Our Executive Director spoke with other community agency representatives from @StreetHealthTO, @TODropinNetwork, @SanctuaryTO at a press conference hosted by the Regent Park Community Health Centre on May 4th, to speak about the impact of #Covid19 on longstanding homeless, opioid and poverty crises. This was her statement:
Statement Originally Published July 2, 2019
Low income residents of Toronto’s downtown east side (NLS's client community) are facing hard times. Living here is increasingly unaffordable and once again supportive services are being cut back. Whether at the municipal, provincial or the national level, it is no longer possible to get all the help needed to push through the bureaucratic grind. Subsidized housing especially seems beyond reach for those on the waiting list. Getting decent income, whether through disability benefits or secure employment, is another dream, just or well beyond one’s grasp. And seeking permanent residence in Canada, whether through the refugee process or on humanitarian & compassionate grounds, is to wait and endure loss: of self-worth and confidence, of connections with children, spouses and other family members, and to live and be treated as a displaced person.
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