A new website aims to give women and children seeking shelter from domestic abuse a one-stop connection to help. The Shelter Safe website (address below) provides a clickable map of roughly 400 shelters across Canada, as well as 24-hour contact information and links to their websites.
The group behind the site says the map doesn't reveal the exact location of shelters in order to protect women's safety, but allows those seeking help to get in touch with facilities quickly and easily.
The Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Houses says women don't need to stay in shelters to make use of services offered there, such as counselling, safety planning and advice on navigating the legal system. The organization's executive director, Lise Martin, says the site will show women in crisis that there is a network of support they can rely on.
Founded in 2013, the Epitome Apartments Tenants Association works to improve quality of life and reasonable enjoyment for existing and new tenants. After their building, 160 Huron was purchased by Akelius Canada (a relatively new entry to the Toronto rental market), tenants noticed a significant decline in maintenance and repairs as well as reduced transparency and accountability. In response, tenants have been working together to call on their landlord for improved access to services and fighting for reduced rents.
You can learn more about the Epitome Apartments Tenants Association on their website:
The Federation was integral in providing support for this emerging Tenant Association. This work would not be possible without funding from the Trillium Foundation.
Join the FMTA for our 41st Annual General Meeting on Saturday, June 6th, 2015 at 1pm.
The AGM will be held at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) - 252 Bloor St. W, Room 2212
All FMTA AGM's include:
- Board and Staff Reports
- Presentation of the Audited Financial Statements
- Appointment of the Auditor
- Member motions
- Board Elections
2014/15 has seen the FMTA undertake a number of campaigns related to Above Guideline Rent Increases, rent control, landlord licensing, tenant representation and affordable housing. We also held an amazing Mayor's debate in October!
Come for the AGM; Stay for the Tenant Assembly!
We strongly urge all members to attend this year as well for our Tenant Association Assembly!
This years assembly will extend an invitation to all our Tenant Association members and friends to come out and discuss how to affect polticial change! A number of City Councillors have also been invited.
The assembly will be a discussion for issues that affect tenants in all of Ontario, including issues unique to our tenant association members. We're looking to make plans of action to get the rights tenants deserve. Less talk, more rock!
Bring your tenant issues and we will collaborate on how we can position ourselves with the politicians who make decisions on our behalf.
Find out what the Federation has done in 2014/15 as well as what we've got planned for 2015/16.
All active members of the FMTA are welcome to attend the AGM, while all tenant advocates are able to attend the tenant assembly!
Hope to see you there!
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
The Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership presents a public forum:
Rental Housing: Can We Do Better?
Aging Buildings : Quantity : Quality : Affordability : Access
Implications for Tenants, Neighbourhoods, Cities
Wednesday 6 May 2015, 6pm
George Ignatieff Theatre, University of Toronto
15 Devonshire Place (east of St. George, south of Bloor, north of Hoskins)
Aging Rental Housing in Canada: Trends and Options, J. David Hulchanski (University
Rental Housing in Western Nations: Lessons for Canada? Duncan MacLennan (University
of St. Andrew’s, Scotland)
Rental Housing Issues in Toronto Israt Ahmed (Social Planning Toronto)
Effie Vlachoyannacos (Federation of Metro Tenants Associations)
Leanne Holt (Federation of Canadian Municipalities)
Moderated by Christopher Hume, urban affairs columnist, Toronto Star
All are welcome.
To register: http://neighbourhoodchange.ca/homepage/rental-housing-forum/
This venue is wheelchair-accessible. For accessibility information:
Ontario is launching consultations to support a renewed Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to ensure that the document supports the Province's goals of improving outcomes for people and ending homelessness.
As referenced in the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Province is aiming to end homelessness by making investments in homelessness prevention, expanding access to supportive housing, and investing in more affordable housing. Ontario is updating the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy so that housing policies are relevant to current realities and reflect new research, best practices, and the housing needs of Ontarians.
The Consultation Discussion Guide outlines the progress of the current strategy, future goals and areas where more input from partners is needed. Participants can submit their views to the government online, by telephone or in writing by July 3, 2015.
To read more, visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website at:
The City of Toronto is embarking on a review to address issues related to rooming houses.
Please take the time to participate in a survey. This survey is one method of gathering feedback from the public. To learn more about the Rooming House Review, please visit
About this survey
This survey should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, however you may answer as many questions as you like. Input will be collected until May 10, 2015.
To complete the survey, please visit:
The article, recently published in the Globe and Mail, paints a picture of divergent trends in the Toronto rental market.
On the one hand, after decades of stagnation, there has been renewed interest from developers in building purpose-built rentals. However, most of the rental units that have come on stream are exorbitantly priced condo rentals which come with a host of problems: deregulated rents, shrinking unit sizes, problems related to security of tenure amongst other issues. Purpose-built rental housing has more recently targeted tenants who can afford higher rent, in the hopes that it would free up options at the lower end of the spectrum.
However, the article goes on to say that trickle down hasn’t really worked. For tenants on social assistance and facing other barriers to finding and keeping housing, the situation remains bleak with rents that have skyrocketed and searches for housing lasting weeks, if not months as Toronto’s vacancy rates continue to plummet.
For the full article, visit:
This publication provides easy-to-understand information about various common questions and legal issues encountered by tenants. The publication is available in English and French and covers the life of a tenancy. Click here for a copy:
The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) welcomed Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli's announcement that the provincial government is moving forward to establish an Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) for eligible low-income consumers to be in place by January 1, 2016.
A home energy rate affordability program has been a key component of LIEN's proposal for a comprehensive energy poverty strategy since its inception over ten years ago. Many of the essential components of that strategy have since been introduced by the Ontario Energy Board in their Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and by the provincial government. These include:
* energy conservation/efficiency programs at no-cost to low-income participants,
* specific low-income customer service rules such as extended arrears repayment terms, and
* emergency energy assistance to help low-income households in financial crisis.
All of these measures have been significant improvements to alleviate the energy burden on low- income households. Now, with the introduction of the OESP, the last key plank in a complete energy poverty strategy has been installed.
"Reduction in energy consumption can make bills more affordable, but those households with the lowest incomes still struggle to pay for home energy costs alongside other basic needs such as rent, food, transportation and medications", said Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), one of LIEN's founding members. "LIEN looks forward to working on the implementation of the OESP, and on Phase Two of the program which will include additional financial assistance for those who heat their homes with electricity."
"The OESP will help prevent vulnerable households from falling into arrears and defaulting on their electricity bill payments," said Jennifer Lopinski, LIEN steering committee member and LEAP Intake Worker for Hydro One & Enbridge Gas at A Place Called Home in the City of Kawartha Lakes. "This rate affordability program will complement the still-needed emergency assistance program for those low-income consumers who face short-term financial hardship."
LIEN is a network of anti-poverty, affordable housing, environmental and social justice organizations that works to address the needs of Ontario's low-income households by ensuring the implementation of effective energy assistance and conservation programs and policies.
LIEN media release
Ontario Minister of Energy news release
OEB report to the Energy Minister re OESP
There are some changes coming to the LTB which are relevant to tenants. Here is a brief overview:
- Updated Forms:
LTB forms will soon be easier to understand and fill out. You will be able to preview the updated forms on the LTB website starting March 1 but please don’t start using the new forms until April 1, 2015.
2. LTB to Start Serving the Notice of Hearings Starting July 1:
Beginning July 1, 2015, the LTB will start serving the notice of hearing and the application to both the applicant and the respondent. Currently, the applicant serves these documents to the respondent. This new process will be more streamlined:
- In most cases, applicants will no longer have to serve the notice of hearing or submit a certificate of service.
- The board will no longer send a letter to respondents confirming the information in the notice of hearing, so a step will be removed from the process.
Until July 1, applicants should continue to serve the notice of hearing and file a certificate of service.
The rule governing these new procedures will be posted for consultation in early spring.
3. Change to Scheduling of Toronto-North and Toronto-South hearings:
The LTB is making changes to the way hearings are scheduled in the Toronto South and Toronto North offices. Currently hearings are scheduled in half day hearing blocks. Starting in March 2015, cases will be scheduled in full day hearing blocks. This is how hearing blocks are scheduled in many other hearing locations in the province.
The change will create greater flexibility to accommodate parties who want to use mediation and tenant duty counsel services while still allowing enough time for matters to be heard if mediation is unsuccessful.
Full day hearing blocks help ensure that all scheduled cases are heard on the day, and not adjourned due to lack of time.