Time for Action on Renovictions

Tenants and housing advocates urge city to enact renovictions by-law at City Hall today.

UPDATE: City Council adopted the renovictions by-law on June 26th, 2024.

Don Valley Community Legal Services issued the following news release on June 13th, 2024:

TORONTO – Tenants, housing advocates and legal clinic representatives are calling on the city to move forward with its proposed renovictions by-law.

Profit-driven renovictions continue to significantly reduce Toronto's already limited affordable housing stock and force many tenants out of their long-time homes and communities.

“We need new rules to protect tenants from renovictions and we need them now,” said Marcia Stone, tenant and chair of Weston ACORN. “How many more tenants will be renovicted while we continue to wait?”

Legal clinics continue to assist tenants facing renoviction. Karly Wilson, housing lawyer from Don Valley Community Legal Services, sees these cases on the front lines. “At our legal clinic, we’ve seen an steep increase in renovictions cases over the past five years. Landlords take advantage of loopholes in the legislation and see renovictions as an easy way to get tenants out. We need a bylaw that will protect tenants from nefarious renovictions and we can’t wait any longer – way too many tenants have already lost their homes.”

They issued their call-to-action at City Hall this morning as the Planning and Housing Committee decides today on how to proceed with the city’s proposed renovictions by-law, which is over five years in the making.

Toronto began developing its by-law in 2019 when it created the Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing specifically to address renovictions. Chaired by Councillor Paula Fletcher, the subcommittee’s work resulted in a renovictions by-law framework in 2022.

The Planning and Housing Committee will review the approach used in Hamilton's new renovictions by-law, which creatively leverages existing areas of municipal jurisdiction to discourage illegal renovictions.

Tenants and housing advocates are asking for work to continue between now and City Council on June 26 to bring Toronto closer to a Hamilton-style renovictions by-law.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher. “Let's use Hamilton's unique, innovative approach so we can quickly put in place protections for renters and our affordable housing supply.”

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