Jagmeet Singh speaks out against Webster Street apartment eviction notices in London, Ont.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks with tenants of two Webster Street apartments where residents say they are facing 'renovictions' on May 26, 2023. Marshall Healey/980 CFPL

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spoke out against eviction notices sent to some tenants of two Webster Street apartments while in London, Ont., Friday.

Speaking across the street from Webster Apartments, Singh says the NDP will push to introduce two pieces of legislation he says will help prevent situations like what is being seen on Webster Street.

“No one should be afraid to be renovicted or see their rent doubled because a housing profiteer bought their building to increase profits,” Singh said. “But unfortunately, that’s what is happening right now in these two buildings but also in many other places across the country.”

An NDP government would introduce legislation to create an affordable housing acquisition fund, Singh said. The fund would allow not-for-profit housing providers, or even municipalities, to purchase affordable units when they enter the market.

Singh says the goal of the fund would be to prevent for-profit corporations from owning and raising the rent on apartments.

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The other legislative move the NDP would make is to place a moratorium on housing “profiteers” buying affordable homes, allowing not-for-profits a place in the market without competing against “deep-pocketed corporate landlords,” said Singh.

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At the event, Singh was joined by NDP MP for London—Fanshawe Lindsay Mathyssen and multiple NDP provincial legislators.

Twenty tenants at the two apartments at 1270 and 1280 Webster Street received N13 notices late last month from the landlords, informing them they would need to vacate their home by the end of August for renovations to take place.

Aaron Dell, one of the residents who has received an N13 notice, says he was “shocked” when he got it.

“I’m losing sleep over this,” said Dell, who lives on Webster Street with his wife. “I’m always worried when I’m opening the door that I’m getting another notice.”

Tenants say along with the eviction notices for the purposes of renovations, other notices have been issued related to alleged non-payment and having air conditioning and freezer units.

ACORN London organizers were also in attendance Friday.

At a rally held two weeks ago, police were called after a minor altercation between a tenant and a man purportedly working for the landlord company.

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Another tenant, Sharon Hodgson, has lived at Webster Apartments for six years. She says she was preparing to retire after working just around the corner from her home when she received an eviction notice.

“I thought I was going to be here for the next 10 or even 20 years,” says Hodgson.

When asked what she would say to the landlords of the apartments, Hodgson said: “We could be your mothers or daughters or sons, your family.”

Global News has repeatedly attempted to contact the property owners over the last month, with inquiries going unanswered on multiple occasions.

ACORN London says it is planning a rally to be held on June 6, beginning at Victoria Park and making its way to city hall ahead of a council meeting, to raise more awareness about the issue.

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