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Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO) is committed to the rights of all persons to participate fully in the civil, cultural, economic, political and social life of their communities.

Local News From Ottawa and Area



Brown Case 

On Sept 23, the Federal Court of Appeal will be hearing the appeal in the Brown matter. This involves a landmark legal claim to wheelchair access at the York Street Steps, the National Capital Commission and the duty to accommodate in altering the physical environment for wheelchair users. Anyone who wants to attend the hearing is welcome.  It is open to the public. Counsel for the case is David Baker, bakerlaw.

National Conference on Museum, Art Gallery Accessibility

What is accessibility? How do museums and galleries develop new audiences and adapt to a diverse population? This national conference will address new and innovative ways to make exhibitions, programs and spaces more accessible for all visitors.  Click here to register Click here for more information.


Housing Consultations

Ontario housing consultations are taking place over the next couple of months.  Hopefully some people can attend the ones in their area.


PLACES AND DATES
  • Ottawa – July 27, 2009
There's more information at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page6395.aspx
There's also an online questionnaire and they are allowing submissions until December 31, 2009.

 

Top 10 Reasons Why Tenants Need to be at the Provincial Consultations 

 

  1. Tenants comprise 40% of Ottawa households.

  2. Tenants pay 1.7% more in property taxes through their rents than homeowners of comparable units, even though tenants have approximately half the income.

  3. Ottawa loses an average of 100 rental units annually though demolitions and conversions.

  4. There were more than 69,000 eviction applications filed at the Landlord and Tenant Board in 2008, mostly tenants struggling to pay unfair rents.

  5. Rental units built after 1991 are exempt from rent control. Market rate units in social housing are also exempt from rent control.

  6. In the mid 1990’s, the Provincial Government cancelled funding to tenant advocacy groups. In Ottawa, we lost the Federation of Ottawa Carleton Tenants Associations, The Ottawa Council of Low Income Support Services, and the Ottawa Tenant Council.

  7. Landlords are well organized through organizations such as the Ottawa Region Landlords Association, Eastern Ontario Landlords Organization, and the Fair Rental Policy Organization. Tenants have no formal structure to have their voices heard. This creates an imbalance during consultation processes.

  8. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the local vacancy rate is 2.7 per cent. Analysts agree that a ‘healthy’ vacancy rate is 3 per cent. Without rent control on vacant units, landlords can charge whatever they want since tenants have less choice. This also means landlords have more incentive to evict or coerce tenants to move out as a means to raise rents even higher.

  9. Since 1995, only 9% of new housing built was rental housing.

  10. When the vacancy rate rises above 3% for two consecutive years, landlords can apply to have rental units converted to condominiums. During the period of 2004 and 2005, when the vacancy rate rose above 3 per cent, there were 681 conversions of rental units to condominiums.

Updated August 30, 2009