TORONTO — NDP MPPs Jessica Bell (University-Rosedale) and Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale-High Park), along with Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) and Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre), have announced they will reintroduce the Rent Stabilization Act: Pay What the Last Tenant Paid, which would make it illegal for landlords to raise the rent on new tenants beyond the legal limit.
The MPPs held a press conference Wednesday to address how their proposed legislation would crack down on skyrocketing rents by ending the current incentive for landlords to evict good tenants just so they can jack up the rent. They were joined by local tenants and housing advocates.
“People in Ontario are smack in the middle of a housing crisis, and Doug Ford’s insistence on allowing landlords to hike the rent unchecked between tenants is a major contributor to driving up market rental prices, Bell said. “People are being renovicted by landlords looking for an excuse to hike rents. They’re putting off growing their families because they can’t afford the extra room, and moving further away from the people and neighbourhoods they love."
Doug Ford ended rent control on all new units in 2018, and did nothing to end vacancy decontrol, leaving landlords free to raise rent as much as they want in between tenants and on new units. This has contributed to Ontario’s skyrocketing rents and gives landlords an incentive to evict a tenant if they think they can get a higher rent price on the unit.
"Without rent control in between tenants, Doug Ford is continuing to allow landlords to evict people for little or no reason,” Karpoche said. "Doug Ford must pass our bill, the Rent Stabilization Act, to remove the incentive for landlords to illegally evict or renovict tenants and to stop rents from skyrocketing.”
Diana Chan McNally, community and crisis response worker at All-Saints Church-Community Centre:
"For too long, we have given landlords the green light to exploit loopholes to evict tenants and increase rent, sometimes by hundreds of dollars at a time. Every time this happens, we lose affordable housing. Most people become homeless because they simply cannot afford rent. It's not just about supply: addressing homelessness means eliminating vacancy decontrol in order to keep rents affordable."
Shelly Dunphy, tenant organizer at 130 Jameson Ave.:
“Over the past five years, we have seen apartments in our building double in rent with minimal upgrades. We see apartments sitting empty for months at a time because families simply cannot afford to pay $,2500 a month for an apartment, on top of rising food and day-to-day living costs.”