“A better Toronto means better living conditions” — Edward Lantz, Toronto ACORN

Toronto’s poor are becoming increasingly marginalized in our expanding multicultural city. The condition of rental housing in Toronto’s suburbs and downtown social housing neighborhoods is shockingly bad, leaving many people living with cockroaches, holes in walls and ceilings, bad plumbing, and broken elevators, and without heat in the winter.

Toronto ACORN wants this year’s election to have a strong focus on housing conditions in both private and social housing buildings. ACORN is currently running an aggressive landlord licensing campaign that, if successful, would eliminate the profitability of being a slumlord in Toronto. ACORN’s campaign has a strong focus on tenants’ rights and urban poverty.

ACORN’s recommendations for the City of Toronto:

  • Charge landlords a small per-unit fee (e.g. $1, so as to not adversely harm the tenant).
  • This fee would pay for the expansion of the City’s inspection program which is run by Municipal Licensing and Standards.
  • The program desperately needs to be expanded, given the huge number of buildings in Toronto (almost 6000) and their notorious conditions.
  • ACORN wants to see every building inspected (as with the restaurant system) and the results of those inspections posted in common areas of the buildings, so that people know what they’re getting into.
  • Landlords who fail to comply with City work orders should be fined and followed up on.

Toronto ACORN (@TorontoACORN) is a member organization made up of low to moderate income people coming together to build local grassroots movements around issues that impact their neighbourhoods. ACORN builds power by organizing low income communities, forcing politicians to pay attention and become accountable. Toronto ACORN focuses on issues such as affordable housing, landlord licensing, payday lending, and good jobs.