FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE: Horizon Ottawa Calls on City Council, Ottawa Public Health to Demand Ford Bring Back Eviction Moratorium
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is calling on Ottawa City Councillors, Ottawa Public Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health Vera Etches to demand that the Ford government re-enact the eviction moratorium that was in place earlier during the pandemic as a measure to slow the spread of the virus and end unnecessary suffering for tenants across the City of Ottawa.
The Ford government, under pressure from tenants and activists across the province, enacted moratoriums on residential evictions multiple times during the Spring and Winter of 2021 to coincide with its province-wide stay-at-home order. Despite this however, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) remained hard at work over the same period, continuing to issue eviction notices at hearings. The end of those stay-at-home orders saw hundreds to thousands of tenants evicted across Ottawa in the dead of Winter and a year later nothing has changed.
“Our city leadership speaks a great deal about the social determinants of health but when push comes to shove they have not followed suit.” Said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “Medical and housing experts, including the former UN Special Rapporteur on Housing have been clear: an eviction ban is needed to stop the spread of this virus especially amongst those who face the most social and economic barriers.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the rate of homelessness in Ottawa has risen by over 70% and the shelter system and other social service organizations have been driven even further to the brink than before and renters have gotten little to no relief. To make matters worse, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently announced that they will be increasing the guideline rent increase. This new measure combined with expected mass layoffs due to new restrictions will make life even more difficult for tenants.
“No one should be evicted during a global pandemic, let alone in up to -30 degree weather.” Said Hersh. “Evictions traumatically disrupt the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Hersh continued. “Council and Dr. Etches have the power and influence to do something about this and ensure that no one is evicted for the remainder of the pandemic.”
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