Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division has joined the Advocacy Centre for Tenants in Ontario and other stakeholders to express concerns about proposed amendments to a government bill that could weaken tenants’ rights.
Last week, the Ontario Standing Committee on Social Policy heard submissions on Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act. In CMHA Ontario’s submission, it outlined its concerns and provided recommendations to address the short- and medium-term consequences of the pandemic crisis on tenants and the rental housing market.
CMHA Ontario’s submission urged the provincial government to address these consequences by implementing five recommendations:
- Update the purpose of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004, to include improving public health in Ontario and recognizing the progressive realization of the human right to housing as enshrined in the federal legislation.
- Extend the current eviction moratorium until the pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery period are over to ensure enough time for employment rates and other economic indicators to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
- Amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, to provide direction to the Landlord and Tenant Board for mediated repayment agreements that are feasible and will not push tenants into homelessness or continued poverty.
- Provide the Landlord and Tenant Board with direction on providing relief from eviction due to circumstances caused by the pandemic crisis.
- Re-institute effective rent control and alleviate the greatest source of anxiety for tenants even before this pandemic crisis – unaffordable rents, which displace people from their homes and communities.
CMHA strongly believes housing is a basic human right, and that housing first is the pathway to recovery from mental health and addictions-related issues. Read more about housing as a social determinant of health.