Olivia Chow wants to get tough with Toronto landlords
Olivia Chow says she'd get tough with landlords who aren't taking care of the buildings they rent to tenants, by ramping up inspections, demanding action and taking property owners to court when necessary.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Chow laid out a series of proposals she would put forward if elected as mayor.
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Two of her proposals are to increase the frequency of inspections that take place at private buildings and to "set clear deadlines" for landlords to comply with orders from inspectors.
Chow said the city would take action against those landlords who are not making changes or repairs as directed.
"Charge them, take them to court and ask for stiffer fines," Chow said Monday.
A third proposal Chow is putting forward is for the city to make repairs when a landlord simply won't, after which the city would tack the bill for such work onto the property tax bill for a landlord.
Chow would also boost the number of city staff assigned to deal with apartment standards and create a dedicated unit for these issues.
She also would seek to establish a system for rental buildings that is similar to DineSafe, the red-yellow-green signage that appears in city restaurants.
Targeting the 'bad apples'
Chow said that her proposals are targeting a specific type of landlord in Toronto.
"There are many landlords that are very good — I'm talking about bad apples, but the bad apples have to be rooted out so that we have a better rental-housing market in the city," she said.
The election is now just one week away. Chow has lagged behind Doug Ford and John Tory in recent polls.
Asked if she had any plans to abandon her mayoral bid and to throw her support to another candidate, Chow said "absolutely not."
"We've had enough of the Ford years, we don't need a Ford-Tory four more years," she said.
"If you're looking at real issues, John Tory and Doug Ford are not talking about issues that matter to people," Chow continued.
"They're not talking about fixing all these rental buildings that are not doing very well, they are not talking about [the] importance of investing in people right now."
Chow, Ford and Tory are just three of dozens of candidates hoping to be elected as the city’s next mayor on Oct.27.