Downtown tenants pressured to move or pay more after renovations

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By Carmela Fragomeni

Community workers are rallying to help tenants who are feeling pressured to move out of two downtown apartment buildings to make way for repairs, renovations and rent increases beyond the provincial limit.

The workers are hosting a public meeting Thursday to address the problems the tenants are facing. An illiterate woman and her mentally ill husband, for example, have until the end of the month to vacate their apartment after she signed a legal agreement she didn’t understand.

Another woman, whose husband is getting palliative care in their apartment, is afraid they will be forced out. Yet another, who has cerebral palsy, doesn’t want to leave but worries about what will happen if she stays.

One by one, tenants of 380 downtown apartment units are being called in to meetings with their building owners and told big renovations are coming. They are being offered $2,000 and last month’s rent if they move out by the end of February, or just the $2,000 if they go by March 31, says the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council (SPRC).

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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