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GOVERNMENT RESOURCES AND SUPPORT FOR COVID-19
from Brad Bradford, Councillor Ward 19 – Beaches-East York
March 24, 2020

 

Councillor Brad Bradford presents a consolidation of the latest Government Resources and Supports on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Refer to this link for complete details: https://www.bradbradford.ca/covid19/

 

 

FMTA (Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association) – City of Toronto COVID-19 Service Updates
(Updated – March 26th)

FMTA  has published recent updates from service providers in the City of Toronto that provide tenant or housing services …… e.g. Landlord and Tenant Board, City Apartment Repair and Public Health Enforcement, Housing Support – RGI Rent Payments, Shelters and Supports for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness and more …….

Refer to this FMTA link to access these recent updates:
https://www.torontotenants.org/city_of_toronto_covid_19_service_updates_march_2020

 

URGENT ACTION: Rent Freeze / Suspension of Rent & End NSF Fees & Internet for All!
Posted March 20, 2020

The Government of Canada released the Economic Response Plan to deal with the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response is timely as it lays out a range of benefits for Canadians as well as businesses to stay afloat in these extremely challenging times.

Refer to this link for full details where you can add your voice to support this action:
https://acorncanada.org/take-action/urgent-action-rent-freeze-suspension-of-rent-end-nsf-fees-internet-all

WHAT THE FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE MEANS FOR YOU
Posted March 20, 2020

We heard the Federal Government releasing an Economic Response Plan to help people deal with the crisis due to COVID-19. Here is a quick summary of what the economic package has to offer. However, ACORN Members and Leaders feel there are substantial gaps between what people need and what they will get with the stimulus package.

Refer to this link for more details:
https://acorncanada.org/what-federal-stimulus-package-means-you

 

The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (FMTA) has initiated a petition to Enact legislation stopping the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario!

An Urgent Message for Doug Ford and Steve Clark:
Enact legislation stopping the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario! 

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, people across the province of Ontario people are facing layoffs, work closures, and public health directives to stay home and self-isolate or practice social distancing. This is causing significant financial hardship for working families across the province – and it is only the beginning. Experts believe that this will not be resolved in the coming weeks. The province of Ontario has taken important steps by banning evictions and enacting legislation to protect the jobs of workers who need to stay home because of COVID-19. But it is not enough. For most people, not working means not earning sufficient income needed to pay for the necessities of life.

Shelter represents the single biggest line item in most household budgets. In recognition of these facts, the federal government has announced measures to defer the payment of mortgages for homeowners. We need a similarly comprehensive approach to help renters through these unprecedented times.

That is why we are calling on Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to support public health and protect those who are the most vulnerable in the face of this crisis, by enacting legislation waiving the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario.

NOTE – You can sign the petition at this FMTA  link:

Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (FMTA)

https://www.torontotenants.org/covid

 

 

 

 

TENANT SUMMIT – MARCH 14TH

The Tenant Summit is a gathering of tenant association presidents and/or their representatives and tenant advocates, discussing an umbrella group, for the purpose of echoing one voice on important tenant issues in Toronto, like vacancy de-control, municipal and provincial government tenant legislation, above guideline (rent) increases, multi-residential property taxes. Together we are stronger!

Date: Saturday, March 14th 2020 10am – 12pm (registration 9:30 am until 10 am)
Location: Deer Park Public Library, 2nd Floor 40 St. Clair East Toronto, ON M4T 1M9 416-393-7657

Refer to this attachment: Tenant Summit March 14, 2020

NOTE: This notification was received from:

Councillor Paula Fletcher
Toronto Danforth – Ward 14
100 Queen Street West, Suite C44
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2

Main Office Line: 416-392-4060
Direct Line: 416-338-7185


 

Join ACORN members and allies from across Ontario to demand real solutions to the housing crisis. Rents are rising out of control – we need rent control on ALL buildings and protections on the rent between tenancies, so landlords can’t evict tenants then jack up the rent.

ACORN members from Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Peel will be coming together to demand action.

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Location:
Ministry of Housing
777 Bay St
Toronto, Ontario M5G

Refer to this link for full details: https://www.torontotenants.org/toronto_acorn_rally_rent_control_2020

 Acorn Contact info: TorontoFO@ACORNCanada.org   Phone #:  416 461 9233

 

FMTA (Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association) Press Conference On Expiring Rent Increases in Ontario

Published on Dec 3, 2019

Tenants in Ontario are owed $Millions in rent reductions but are not getting their money. We call on the province to ensure tenants get their rent reductions.

FMTA official website: https://www.torontotenants.org/

 

Many high-rise apartment buildings around the GTA are currently undergoing major renovations and repairs of balconies. Most balconies tend to be made of metal with concrete slabs and are subject to wear and tear and rusting. Landlords and property owners deem these renovations and repairs are necessary to maintain the infrastructure and revitalize the appearance of the buildings. Hence these renovations are deemed ‘capital expenditure work’ under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Refer to: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb-december-19-2016-new-approach-applications-rent-increase-guideline/

Given that the Above Guideline Increase regulations of the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) deem renovation of balconies as ‘capital expenditure work’, the landlord has rights to renovate their property. The landlord will incur substantial costs from these renovations and the upshot is that the landlord can apply for an Above Guideline Increase and pass these costs on to their tenants. But. are those balcony renovations necessary, essential or cosmetic?

Although elegant and attractive balconies improve the overall appearance of the building there are some downsides to the balcony renovation project:

  • Tenants have to endure excessive noise and disruption as workers dismantle the existing balcony railings. It is a noisy, dusty and disruptive process, therefore a great inconvenience for tenants, especially those who have night jobs as well as families with young children. Further, curtains and drapes on windows facing the balcony must be closed during the day for months at a time, to ensure privacy when workers pass by on scaffolding.
  • Balconies are barricaded and access to certain locations of their building is limited. Of course, the safety of tenants during the renovation work is a priority. Yet that lack of access to the balcony, including removal of window air conditioners during the hot summer months, certainly interferes with the tenants’ enjoyment of their unit. This can be seen as a ‘loss of service’ and tenants may be able to file an application for an abatement of rent at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • Renovating balconies is a major construction project that can take a much longer time to complete as predicted as the work can be prolonged well beyond the targeted completion date. Tenants can be inconvenienced for an extended period of time.
  • As part of the preparation for the balcony renovations tenants are instructed to remove any items stored on their balcony. Lockers are no longer made available in many high-rise buildings so tenants tend to store valued or bulky items on their balcony. Tenants are not always told that any items not removed are permanently ‘disposed of’ by the workers which is a lack of clear communication by the landlord.  Have those ‘disposed’ items been dumped in the garbage or have been set aside by someone who views those items as having value? Since there is no recourse to recover those missing items removed from balconies it would benefit tenants if landlords make arrangements/agreements with the workers on how to dispose of items, i.e. leave those items in a designated area for tenants to retrieve them.
  • Tenants in older buildings have complained that there are dealing with an infestation (or migration) of cockroaches and other pests to their unit.

Despite many inconveniences, the most important and troubling concern of tenants is what the Above Guideline Increase will be after the renovations have been completed

In recent years there has been a crisis of affordable rental housing due to low vacancy rate. It has mostly to do with ‘supply and demand’. Developers are more focussed on building condos as the condo market is thriving. That has diminished the availability of a much needed supply of affordable rental housing and also contributed to a very low vacancy rate in rental housing. The outcome has been huge increases in rental costs for tenants. Renovating apartment buildings and being able to claim those costs as ‘capital expenditures’ is of significant financial benefit to landlords as those costs are covered by the Above Guideline Increase regulations. The question remains ….. Are those balcony renovations necessary, essential or cosmetic?

Tenants are encouraged to become more informed about the Above Guideline Increase rules outlined by the Landlord and Tenant Board. Moreover, it could be in the best interest of tenants to get organized and engage in activism to address attempts by landlords to inflate rents as a result of balcony renovations.

____________________

NOTE – Refer to these links for rules and regulation of the Above Guideline increases outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act:

Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17

July 1, 2019 e-Laws currency date
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/about-e-laws#ccl

In the absence of tenant associations tenants should check out the Federation of Metro Tenants Association (FMTA) organization.  FMTA has produced a Guide to Renovations publication that contains extensive information on regulations related to renovations.

Refer to this link for details:
Federation of Metro Tenants Association (FMTA) document https://torontotenants.org/

 

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