ParkTales - On rent gouguing

 

Bring back real rent controls

Fight back against rent gouging

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

This year The Parkdale Tenants Association (PTA), celebrating forty years of helping tenants fight back against unscrupulous landlords, is currently on a campaign to Bring Back Real Rent Controls.
 
Members have been petitioning on street corners in Parkdale to ask the Ontario Provincial Government to keep their promise made in 2003 to bring back "real rent control".
 
The PTA accompanying leaflet points out the following:
 
"More than nine years after the Ontario Government's promise to bring back real rent control, landlords can still raise the rent on empty apartments by whatever the market will bear. This is called "Vacancy Decontrol".
 
Vacancy Decontrol provides unscrupulous landlords with the incentive to get rid of tenants without due process. It allows for rents to be substantially increased between tenancies resulting in much higher rents for many tenants.
 
Average rents have increased three to nine times the rate of inflation.
 
Evictions over the last 12 years have skyrocketed into the tens of thousands per year.
 
The Daily Bread Food Bank has seen a 16% jump in food bank visits as tenants spend nearly three quarters of their income on rent."
 
PTA members say public response to the leaflet and petition is overwhelming: " Yes, yes, thank you for doing this. Let me sign, we need this so much. Thank you. Give me a petition I'll get my fellow tenants to sign, keep it up."
 
Encouraged by such enthusiasm to the campaign, the PTA will be on street corners in Parkdale during the coming weeks and will culminate the campaign with a community meeting to address the issue and put pressure on Dalton McGuinty and his Ontario Government to keep their election promise.
 
The Parkdale Tenants is also calling for a Rent Registry and licensing of landlords. Why shouldn't landlords be licensed?
 
The Parkdale Tenants is one of the oldest tenants organisations in Canada with a proud history of helping tenants.
 
Each year the PTA presents the Golden Cockroach award to the worst landlord in Parkdale.

It is a fun media event to draw attention to some of the worst slum landlords.

Check it out at   Parkdale Tenants Association
 
My Parkdale

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