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Motion coming to planning committee to crack down on bad-faith renovictions in Ottawa

A motion is coming to planning and housing committee on April 24 for the city to explore an anti-renoviction bylaw on Saturday, April 20, 2024 (Katelyn Wilson/CTV News). A motion is coming to planning and housing committee on April 24 for the city to explore an anti-renoviction bylaw on Saturday, April 20, 2024 (Katelyn Wilson/CTV News).
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As the number of tenants being forced out of their homes soars, an Ottawa city councilor wants the city to do more to prevent bad-faith evictions.

The city has seen a significant increase in the number of N13 forms being used for evictions – which require a tenant to move out so a landlord can do major renovations and charge a higher rent.

According to a renoviction report by ACORN, the number of N13’s filed in Ottawa from 2021 to 2022 jumped 545 per cent.

Coun. Ariel Troster now wants the city to explore an anti-renoviction bylaw. Looking to Hamilton, the first city in the province who is requiring a renovation licence for landlords and allowing tenants to return to their units at the same rent.

"Our office has been absolutely inundated with calls," said Troster, who is putting forward a similar motion to the city's planning comittee.

“We have no provincial tenancy control right now, which means, in between tenants, a property owner can raise the rent as much as they want. Citywide, this is leading to a massive problem that's driving people into homelessness.”

Centretown resident Manual Cua is being evicted from his apartment on Bank Street where he’s lived for 26 years and pays just under $500 for rent.

"It’s very hard to find an apartment that’s affordable housing," said Cua. "[If I moved] I will have to take 80 per cent of my salary just to cover my expenses."

He’s one of 17 tenants who are fighting to stay in his apartment. Two years ago, property owners for 211-231 Bank Street Holdings purchased the buildings on the block.

The owner and its development manager, Smart Living Properties, plans to build a new nine-storey building with 263 apartments and retail space on the bottom.

All of the tenants in the 27 apartments and businesses on the block received eviction notices, but the project has yet to be approved by city council.

Centretown resident Jacob Hendren says he’s frustrated by what’s happening to his neighbourhood. He say’s he’s seeing more people evicted from their homes.

"They say that we have a need to build more community. We need more densification, which may not be wrong, but they’re doing it on the backs of the people who currently live there," Hendren said.

“There’s one side of the story that wants to evict people and create more profit off of housing and there’s the other side of the story of people who need a roof over their heads."

Troster says the city is exploring options to create more affordable housing as well. Her renoviction motion is slated to come to the city's planning and housing committee on Wednesday.

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