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May 22, 18

Hamilton, ON: Rent Strikers Hold Rally

The following report comes from rent strikers involved in the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network.

On May 15th, rent strikers from the Stoney Creek Towers had a rally. After a couple of speeches from tenants and supporters, we went to the local office of the property management company CLV to hand in a stack of over 60 maintenance request forms, documenting a list of long-standing repair issues that tenants from the four buildings have been living with for weeks, months or years.

While this rally took place well within official office hours, when tenants went to deliver the letters they were met with locked doors. CLV seemed to think that this would make the problem go away. It didn’t. After a while, CLV eventually realized how bad this looked, and agreed to accept the repair letters. Behind the closed doors of the front office, we could see them on the phone – presumably to get instructions from the higher-ups in their Ottawa headquarters – and proceeding to photocopy all of the repair letters. When we left about a half an hour later, they were still busy feeding the photocopier more paper.

After years of neglect on the part of their landlord, the tenants in these Towers are dealing with drafty windows, crumbling paint and drywall on walls and ceilings, missing interior doors, appliances that don’t work, and so on and so forth. Understandably, the tenants wonder why they are being forced to pay a maximum above-guideline rent increase (AGI) (which brings their total rent increase close to 10% over two years), while their actual homes are in such dire disrepair. Necessary repairs to their units is one of the demands in the rent strike. The other is for CLV and the owner, InterRent REIT, to drop the AGI.

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A grassroots, volunteer network linking tenants across #HamOnt to build tenant power and fight against the forces of displacement.

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