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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

By I. Aagaard, Guest Contributor

A recent article (Smart sub-meters) on the EYTG web site made references to an issue that’s been popping up recently:  Smart Sub-Meters in apartment buildings.

 I agree fundamentally with the notion of this “Pay Per Use” way of holding each of us responsible for our consumption of non-renewable resources, such as electricity. (more…)

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By I. Aagaard, Guest Contributor

 

Hi there:

 

I’m back! Me, with the previous Sustainable Affordability and MISSING: National Housing policy in Federal Elections! contributions. This time I’m here with a suggestion: That tenants collectively approach Ottawa and Queen’s Park for financial help so that we, too, can do our part in saving or creating jobs during these tough times.  After all, if GM and Chrysler, to name a few, can get help from Messrs. Harper and McGuinty, then why can’t we?

 

Think about it! If our respective governments are prepared to help bail out big companies that are poster boys for a capitalist society, then (more…)

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Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Department’s proposed auditing strategy was voted in (with some amendments) on Monday (10 November) by the City’s Executive Committee over the criticism and objections of tenants and advocacy groups such as The Federation of Metropolitan Tenants’ Association, The Parkdale Tenants’ Association, ACORN, The South Etobicoke Tenants Association, and the Parkdale Community Legal Services – Tenant’s Advocacy Division who wanted stronger, more tenant-focused regulation.

The new strategy will go into effect on December 1st, 2008. You can read the full recommendation, that the City’s Executive Commitee reviewed, here.

More later on what the new programme may mean to you and what you can do to help ensure that it is implemented well.

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So, today is the day that the Toronto’s Executive Committee will evaluate and vote on a proposal for a new Municipal Licensing and Standards strategy.

As noted in earlier posts, it looks as if they will approve an auditing plan proposed by the department.

From a tenant perspective (and examined in detail in earlier posts) this proposal is little more than a slightly enhanced version of the status quo.

In earlier posts, we mentioned a meeting that took place yesterday afternoon to show support for landlord licensing – the proposal initially being investigated by the City.

This meeting was well attended (with approximately 40 people present, albeit mostly members from the organizing group, ACORN) and drew a camera crew from Global TV and two newspaper reporters. Three city (more…)

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Toronto city councillor, Howard Moscoe has done a complete about turn from his former support for landlord licensing (as weakened as his version was) in favor of an even weaker auditing plan put forth by head of the City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Department, Jim Hart.

The new auditing plan will be the only fleshed-out proposal to go before the Mayor’s Executive Committee for a vote on Monday, November 10th and if passed, as is likely with no other real proposals on the table, would take effect on Dec. 1st.

According to The Toronto Sun, the auditing scheme would be ‘operated by a team of 12 MLS officers with a background in building audits — will proactively inspect 176 rental (private and social housing) buildings (more…)

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In Beaches-East York the incumbent Liberal MP, Maria Minna, is once again heading back to Ottawa to represent us. The East York Tenants Group congratulate her.

Now to the business of getting some concrete action from our newly re-elected federal representative and the newly formed federal government.

Although our recently re-elected MP is in the opposition, tenants in Beaches-East York have certain expectations with regard to alleviating hardships faced by tenants, who by the way, comprise a huge segment of the residential households in Beaches-East York.

In the weeks preceding the election we raised a number of important tenants’ issues, not least of which is ‘affordable housing’. Two of the main factors in realizing ‘affordable housing’ are:  i) an adequate supply of rental apartment buildings and/or, ii) bringing back ‘rent controls.’  Several community groups and organizations have raised these issues time and again with politicians. The East York Tenants Group e-mailed political representatives at all levels of government (more…)

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We have less than 2 weeks remaining before the federal election on October 14, 2008.  Many tenants in Beaches-East York are struggling to make ends meet due to rising unemployment and underemployment. We are about to experience a huge leap in our overall cost of living due to the downturn in the global economy. This means many tenants will find it even harder to pay market rents as the present economic crisis deepens. So why isn’t the issue of ‘affordable housing’ addressed by the candidates? Is it because ‘tenants are invisible’?

 

A closer look at the housing system put in place by the federal government provides clues as to why the tenant population has become invisible. Several decades ago the federal government put in place a housing program that distanced them from the thorny issue of ‘affordable housing’ for renters. The program focused more on the private market and the ownership sector. The responsibility for the rental market sector was downloaded to the provincial and municipal governments but that responsibility is (more…)

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