Tenant union ACORN invited to educate Waterloo region renters about rights
'Not only do [renters] not know their rights ... landlords don't know it,' advocate says
A tenancy group has partnered with local organizations to meet later this month to discuss local issues such as "high rent, slumlords and renovictions."
It's also a chance to introduce local tenants to the union ACORN — Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — which advocates on behalf of low and moderate-income people.
Meg Ruttan of Kitchener is among those wanting to open a union chapter in Waterloo region. She currently lives in a home slated for demolition to allow the landlord to expand his business. This was a move approved by city council when they rezoned the lands the homes are located on.
Ruttan has been fighting the move and says she's heard from many other people around the community with concerning stories about their own landlords.
"What I've realized while doing all that work is that not only do [renters] not know their rights regarding the Landlord Tenant Board, landlords don't know it and neither do our local politicians," Ruttan told CBC News.
"So that's part of why I'm doing this ... we can empower people who are facing renovictions, demovictions and just landlord dishonesty."
Ruttan and other advocates are being joined in their call to bring ACORN to Waterloo region by Waterloo Region Community Legal Services and the Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region.
Ashley Reyns, the head organizer for Ottawa ACORN is helping the group get started in the region.
"Any tenant or low-moderate income person living in Waterloo region is invited to attend to discuss local housing issues like high rent, chronic disrepair and renovictions," Reyns said in an email.
An online meeting is being scheduled for May 25 at 6:30 p.m.