[URBAN NOTE] “Parkdale tenants take to the street to fight rent hike”
The Toronto Star‘s Emily Mathieu describes how the residents of 87 Jameson Avenue, a Parkdale apartment tower with a controversial record of maintenance and many tenants in poverty, are protesting plans for sustained high rent increases over the next several years.
For Sebastienne Incorvaia, what she pays for rent could mean the difference between putting food on the table and going hungry.
“It is hard, you know, the difference is do I buy all the food I need or do I eat cheese and toast for a lot of days?” says Incorvaia, 63, who has lived at 87 Jameson Ave. for five years and like other residents of the Parkdale building is facing a hefty rent increase.
Incorvaia and a group of fellow tenants are pushing back at efforts to make them pay more to live in a building they say is in disrepair, with water, heating, bug and maintenance problems and inaccessible to people with mobility issues.
On Wednesday, they took their grievances to the sidewalk for a rally outside the offices of the Landlord and Tenant Board, where they formally opposed an application by building manager MetCap Living Management Inc. to raise the rent 3 per cent above provincial guidelines, each year for three years, to cover the costs of renovations made to the 91-unit building.
While such increases are legal, they must be approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenant advocates say they are sometimes used to push out low-income tenants so landlords can renovate and jack up the rent.