'Becoming impossible': What tenants have to say about the Parkdale rent strike
Their landlord has applied for a rent increase above the guideline set annually by the province. For these tenants, that may mean losing their homes.
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Some 55 tenants at 1251 King St. W. are currently on a rent strike, protesting a proposed rent increase above the province's guideline. The landlord, Nupsor Investments, is petitioning the Landlord and Tenant Board for a 3.4 per cent rent increase following a $300,000 renovation. While a decision has yet to be reached, those on strike say they've already been served with eviction notices giving them two weeks to pay up or risk being thrown out. But tenants insist they won't pay until the rent hike application is withdrawn.
The 79-year-old former TTC employee says he has lived in his one-bedroom apartment for nearly 30 years and currently rents it for $1,021 a month. He's worried the proposed increase would strain his $1,500 monthly pension even further and is already considering desperate measures. "I'm getting out of here," Percy says, explaining his plan to move back to Trinidad and Tobago if the hike goes through. "My son who was living with me here died two years ago, so I have no reason to stay anyways."
At 39, the social services worker says she has "dreams like others" and would like to save up some money to accomplish them. But her rent, currently $1,175 a month, takes up most of her income. "It doesn't matter whether it's affordable or not. The above-guideline rent increase is unjustifiable," Rosser said, adding she's determined to stand up against the increase. "I'm not afraid. My life may end up being difficult, but I'm not going to say yes to something that's unacceptable just due to being afraid."
The visual-effects artist and his partner have lived in a one-bedroom unit for four years, renting it for a little over $1,200 per month. The proposed increase would add about $40 a month, which is more concerning over the course of multiple years. "It's almost becoming impossible to live in this city," said Curran, a 27-year-old who works in children's TV programming.
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