Tenants to protest ‘hellish’ rental conditions in Hamilton’s Beasley neighbourhood

Tenants to protest conditions at Mary Street apartment building.
Tenants to protest conditions at Mary Street apartment building. Hamilton ACORN

There are renewed calls for a rental housing licensing system in Hamilton.

The request comes from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), an independent national organization with chapters in nine cities, which lobbies governments on behalf of low- and moderate-income families.

READ MORE: Poverty plan to focus on affordable housing supply

Hamilton ACORN Chair Mike Wood says the licensing of landlords would result in annual inspections and “things would be enforced” to ensure that basic living standards are met.

Wood will be joining tenants of an apartment building on Mary Street on Saturday to issue their demand, while also protesting “hellish” living conditions in the Beasley neighbourhood dwelling.

He argues that the current conditions, which are said to include “cut out” ceilings, “paint bubbles hanging halfway down” and ceilings “falling apart above the bathtub” are creating mental health issues for tenants including “stress” and “depression.”

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READ MORE: City proposes guidelines for licensing landlords in Toronto

The licensing of rental units has been a recurring discussion at Hamilton City Hall in recent years, with critics successfully arguing that it would squeeze out smaller landlords and further shrink Hamilton’s affordable housing market.

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