RELIEF TIME FOR TENANTS

For Immediate Release August 28, 2003

The Federation of Metro Tenants Associations is calling on Premier Ernie Eves to place a moratorium on rent increases for 2004.

Under Provincial law, the Province must announce this week the rent guideline for 2004. The 2003 guideline of 2.9% marked the 17th consecutive year that the guideline exceeded the rate of inflation. During the last five years, hundreds of thousands of tenants have experienced even greater increases because of the landlord enriching Tenant Protection Act.

"Tenants have gone through a lot and suffered financial hardship because of high rents" said Dan McIntyre, Outreach Co-Ordinator for the FMTA, "and tenants have also suffered through SARS, West Nile, the power blackout and other misfortunes this year......give us a break from rent increases".

The Federation wants the whole legislation scrapped and replaced with true protection for tenants. A moratorium on increases would be a start.

Gail Nyberg, Hotline Co-Ordinator "Even if it was seen as only a cynical pre-election ploy, the relief is necessary. Too many families are struggling to pay the rent and feed the kids. Too many seniors are seeing an intolerable erosion of their fixed incomes. Too many working people are working more for their landlords than for themselves."

The guideline should be published in the Ontario Gazette this Saturday.