Anti-Displacement motion passes to help work towards preventing “renovictions”
This week has seen some progress in taking action on housing affordability. At a joint meeting between the City’s Planning Committee and Community and Protective Services Committee, I introduced a motion, that passed unanimously, that will begin to help us move forward to work towards establishing a policy to prevent “renovictions”.
A growing reason for the loss of affordable housing in Ottawa happens when landlords give tenants a notice of eviction so that they can renovate, with the intent to bring in new residents at higher rental rates than they can legally increase for current tenants. The policy will be looking at ensuring that displaced tenants have options for temporary units of comparable expense and size, as well as a right to return to their original home when renovations are completed. Assistance with reasonable costs of moving will also be considered as part of this new tenant protection measure.
The Anti-Displacement Policy will address the alarming reality that for every new unit of affordable housing created in Ottawa, up to 15 units are being lost on the rental market. People of low, moderate and middle incomes are having unprecedented challenges finding a suitable home they can afford in our city. This is one tool to help restore a healthy housing market. Thanks to local housing advocates and the many Bay Ward residents who wrote to our office to let us know that the protection, proper upkeep and development of affordable housing is an integral part of the city they want to live in.
You can read my motion in it’s entirety here. This is just a small step towards building housing affordability. We need a strong commitment from our provincial and federal patterners in order to create more comprehensive actions to move forwards to end homelessness.