Hamilton tenants call for government help as rents rise

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‘Prices shouldn’t going up because our city is becoming a bit trendy’

By Kelly Bennett

About 100 tenants and affordable housing advocates from around the city of Hamilton met in a downtown park on Wednesday to rally for government help in the tightest rental market since 2002, which they say is leading to displacement.

When rent for a one-bedroom apartment goes up from $700 to $1,100 a month, Beasley resident Eileen White said, some families have to choose whether to eat or to pay rent.

Participants called on the city, the province and the federal government to dedicate money and attention to help tenants maintain safe, clean, affordable housing.

In the context of increased demand, downtown apartment owners have offered tenants cash to move, or tried to renovate around them, as they see an opportunity to raise rents.

Some of the tenants on Wednesday swapped tips about negotiating with landlords to keep rents from skyrocketing. But the rally also served as a platform to tell stories of some of the less-than-ideal conditions Hamilton tenants endure, with scarce options if they do want to move.

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Article and image source: CBC Hamilton

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