TORONTO - MPP Jessica Bell (University-Rosedale), NDP Housing critic, and MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam MPP (Toronto Centre) joined No Demovictions and tenants at 25 St Mary St to introduce a new NDP motion calling for a moratorium on demolishing purpose-built rental buildings.
“The Conservatives want to make it easy for speculators to demolish perfectly good apartments and evict thousands of people," said Bell. "Ontario can meet our housing needs without sacrificing renters.”
Bell’s motion would put a pause to the demolition of rent-controlled buildings to make way for condominiums exempt from rent control.
"Renters living in purpose-built rentals across Ontario are very worried that an investor is coming to demolish their building in the near future," said Bell. “There are currently more than 80 buildings, accounting for 3,225 rental homes slated for demolition in Toronto alone.”
“Large rent-controlled buildings represent some of the last affordable housing in Ontario — the Conservatives need to protect these homes, not demolish them,” said Wong-Tam.
The proposed moratorium would remain in effect until the provincial government guarantees fair compensation for tenants during construction so they can rent an apartment nearby during the entire construction period and guarantees a tenant can return to their rent-controlled home once construction is complete.
“This is the policy in other fast-growing cities around Canada, like Burnaby BC, and it should be the policy here," said Bell. "We can meet our housing supply needs and protect renters at the same time."
Megan Kee, tenant facing demoviction
“I have lived in Midtown in my affordable purpose-built rental building for almost 8 years. And I used to consider myself lucky, especially as I watched loved ones struggle to find affordable housing in this city. I can honestly say I never saw this coming.”
Lindsay Blackwell, tenant facing demoviction
“As an organizer with No Demovictions, we are pushing for a moratorium on demovictions targeting tenants in affordable, purpose-built rentals all across Ontario. Demovictions are increasing, not just here in Toronto - but in other cities, like Hamilton, Waterloo, and Ottawa.”
Rebbeca Gimmi, tenent facing demoviction
“There is nowhere for us to go. I would look for another rent-controlled apartment in a building, but they’re disappearing. Next summer this building and my building will receive eviction notices and we will be competing for homes from a rental pool that just decreased by almost 400 rent-controlled units.”