Leaders in vulnerable Hamilton neighbourhoods will be taught about legal rights

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By Molly Hayes

A new program by the Social Planning and Research Council hopes to better support new Canadians at risk of displacement in quickly gentrifying Hamilton.

As the tentacles of gentrification spread across the city, and housing prices and rent costs continue to rise, some tenants across the city are being left vulnerable — and many don’t know their rights.

“There are things that aren’t bad about renewal,” Cassandra Roach says. “But when your urban renewal, your revitalization of a street or neighbourhood, comes at the cost of pushing out the people who were there … how can you justify it?”

Roach is spearheading the [Dis]placement Project, a partnership between the SPRC, Hamilton Comminity Legal Clinic, and Core Collaborative Learning. It’s being funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario to support new Canadians with landlord-tenant issues.

The program will provide community-based legal education to social service providers and community leaders in the Beasley and Riverdale neighbourhoods, to better inform them on issues such as tenant rights and bylaws — information that they will then be able to take back and share with residents.

The need for such a program became apparent after the displacement of residents in the Beasley neighbourhood over the last few years, Roach explains.

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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