Coronavirus crisis: for a national rent strike now!

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travissmith

Most people are too scared of being evicted or making their landlord angry especially in Ontario.

Pondering

You still haven't answered my question. 

How can you justify not paying rent when you are being given the money to pay it?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..your question is judgemental and paternalistic with a touch of authoritarianism.

..and i would only be able to justify it for myself..not others. 

..i get a gov pension, others might get ei. everyone decides what they will use the money for. whether the government or you agrees or not.   

Pondering

epaulo13 wrote:

..your question is judgemental and paternalistic with a touch of authoritarianism.

..and i would only be able to justify it for myself..not others. 

..i get a gov pension, others might get ei. everyone decides what they will use the money for. whether the government or you agrees or not.   

I get a government pension too and you are right that it is entirely up to me how to spend as it is for anyone to spend any money that they have or are given.

The emergency funds being dispursed by the government are intended to keep people paying their bills so they won't get evicted or have their electricity cut off. That is the express purpose. Landlords have been asked to wait until the money has been dispursed at which point tenants are expected to catch up on their rent. Legally they don't have to. They can decide to spend it elsewhere and stay put until they are evicted but don't expect public sympathy.

They will be regarded as deadbeats who abused the Covid-19 national emergency to try to rip-off landlords during the moratorium on evictions.

I'll feel bad for people who get evicted but if they do they brought it on themselves. They were given an opportunity to save themselves and decided against it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..yes pondering they will all be sorry that they didn't listen to you. 

NDPP

"Rent has to stop...There needs to be some support here. Leaving it up to the good graces of banks or your landlords is not going to work,' said pub owner Nathan Hughes. 'We're not getting any real help...subsidies for jobs that don't exist and loans that put you further into debt." (and vid)

https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1245511800138891266

 

TRNN: Congressional Candidate Urges Rent Strike to Protect Tenants (and vid)

https://therealnews.com/stories/washington-congress-joshua-collins-rent-...

"If no one pays rent, your neighbors who can't afford rent stay safe..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

No rent was paid in April by nearly a third of American renters

Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters didn’t pay any of their April rent during the first week of the month, according to new data to be released Wednesday by the National Multifamily Housing Council and a consortium of real-estate data providers.

The numbers are the first hard look at how many Americans are struggling to make rent during the coronavirus pandemic. The data come in the first of weekly reports on unpaid rent from NMHC, a landlord trade group.

Only 69% of tenants paid any of their rent between April 1 and 5, compared with 81% in the first week of March and 82% in April 2019, the data show.

Pondering

They can't listen to me because we don't have a line of communication open. But yes, they should listen. The rent strike if there is to be one should come after the lockdown when people are not being given money to pay their rent and they are getting evicted. Then it would be an act of solidarity.

What is the point of a rent strike? That is, what is the goal if not to increase public support to force government action?

All too often the left doesn't see the forest for the trees. "But we are right" goes the refrain. If the goal is to feel righteous or just to vent then it doesn't matter but if we want real change then we need to focus on how to win friends and influence people and we need to learn timing. The left is like a bunch of people rowing a boat each going to the beat of their own drummer.

I am wrong about many things but I am not wrong about this. The public in this moment cares about people falling through the cracks in the immediate sense and about their own friends and families needs both short and longterm.

They care about and are afraid for what comes next, fearful of the next Great Depression. Their fears are not paranoia.

Wealthy and powerful forces are moving to consolidate their power and find whatever advantages they can which is par for the course.

True I am "talking out of my hat" but logic tells me the only way out of this mess is left. We need a Green New Deal to target climate  change and the economy. All that money that has been piling up at the top will have to trickle down to pay for it.

Politicians have used war terminology to describe the fight. WWII has been invoked, victory gardens mentioned. I read somewhere that taxes for the wealthy at the time were around 90%.

The left needs to act like we are in a war because we are facing a critical turning point that will see us turning significantly left or right. The status quo will not hold.

We need to win public support for the kinds of policies that really will help people and the Earth survive.  There is a saying that 'all politics is local' but it's not. We are facing global economic and climate change battles. We can't impact what all countries are doing but we can impact what Canada is doing if we succeed in turning the tide leftward and if we do that it will impact the world.

Big money is being spread around and we need to influence that. Covid-19 has revealed the impact of fossil fuel burning in an unprecedented manner. This is an excellent time to fight for massive investment in public transport. Infrastructure spending can go towards social housing and coop housing (not "affordable").

Another strong contender is bringing back manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. Both contribute to national security. Local manufacturing brings back jobs and forces companies to adhere to higher standards.

This is a great time to argue for basic income instead of this hodge podge of programs that is expensive to administrate an leaves people falling through the cracks.

Great time to question the semi-privatization of medicine in Canada and resistence to national pharmacare which the majority want.

The grand majority of Canadians are not against the oil industry but don't want government investing in it.

It's not about listening to me. It's about applying your own logic.

Douglas Fir Premier

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/04/08/relief-for-tenan...

On Monday, the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) was made available. Over the next week tens of thousands of Torontonians will apply for relief to offset massive job loss. 

Landlords throughout the city awaited Monday with even more anticipation than the tenants themselves. On the day that the CERB was made available, tenants across the city were contacted by their landlords with renewed demands for immediate payment of rent or to commit to potentially catastrophic repayment agreements. The implication is clear: the CERB is their money.

[...]

Without rent forgiveness for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, the only relief that has been provided is to the bottom line of landlords. The rest of us will be left to deal with the personal and social disaster created when a global pandemic and Toronto’s housing crisis collide. 

This housing crisis certainly did not begin with COVID-19 but in the last few weeks, those who are directly threatened by it have grown substantially. For many of us, increases in rents and housing prices have outpaced that of wages and salaries by double. Rent may be at the bottom of this pyramid but it cannot be expected to prop it up.

The broader implication of rent forgiveness is that some mortgage holders could potentially experience financial difficulties. If that is the case, pressure should be applied upward on to financial institutions and lenders. Not downward on to tenants. 

It is unreasonable to expect tenants with no real assets and very little resources to sacrifice what little we have left in order to guarantee the revenue streams of financial institutions.

Douglas Fir Premier

‘Throw Their Stuff on the Lawn’: BC Landlords Plot Against Unemployed Renters in Private Facebook Groups

"we hope, just a little, that what we say doesn’t get published to the open world."

Parasites.

Pondering

The CERB is intended to allow people to pay their bills including rent. A lease is a contract. I agree that rents are unreasonable but that is a separate issue that exists apart from Covid-19. Exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid paying the money you owe will not be supported. Everybody else, including all the renters who do pay their rent with the CERB money will not see why a subset of renters should get special treatment.

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

The CERB is intended to allow people to pay their bills including rent. A lease is a contract. I agree that rents are unreasonable but that is a separate issue that exists apart from Covid-19. Exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid paying the money you owe will not be supported. Everybody else, including all the renters who do pay their rent with the CERB money will not see why a subset of renters should get special treatment.

 

Come on Pondering, renters shouldn't have to pay rent if they don't want to.Not just foir the next few months, for as long as they don't want to pay.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Grown-up Conversation:

Rent Deferrals and Rent Forgiveness

There are 3.4 million tenant households in Canada who depend on employment and self-employment income. The rent is due soon. And the question is, if they lose their jobs to COVID-19, even temporarily, what will they do with the little income they have managed to save? Should they sign a cheque to their landlords, or save the money for groceries and other basic necessities? That’s an awful question to grapple with.

The Government of Canada’s financial aid package included a measure to increase flexibility to defer mortgage payments on CMHC-insured mortgage loans to homeowners, and the six major banks in the country have announced supports that include six-month payment deferral for private mortgages.3 This is good news for many families, but nothing has been said about those who rent.

As of the time of writing, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Quebec have announced a moratorium on evictions. British Columbia has announced a partial moratorium that applies only to government-owned housing.

These are necessary immediate responses, and other provinces must follow suit, but a ban on evictions doesn’t address the fact that tenants who have already lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will have a hard time making rent on March 31.

The findings in this report show the magnitude of the need. Tenants don’t have enough financial cushion to pay next month’s rent. And once they are back to work, they won’t be able to pay arrears, given how little they were able to save in normal times.

The federal government and its provincial counterparts need a plan, or several plans. There are many types of tenants, and many types of landlords, and rent deferral and forgiveness programs will have to be fair and work for everyone.

The federal government needs to get money into people’s hands as soon as possible. The announced income supports through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit and the Canadian Child Benefit are great measures, but, as it has been demonstrated here, many families can’t wait until May. Moreover, and in addition to has been announced to date, the federal government could add a GST supplement to low-income and unemployed renters.

As part of their own relief packages, provincial governments should exempt unemployed low-income households from rent in governmentowned and non-for-profit housing, which would be done through transfers to municipal governments.

Rent subsidies and allowances should be increased to cover higher shares of rents, or all of it. People who had a hard time paying rent before will surely need more support now.

Landlords should have access to business aid packages, while also being asked to contribute their share and absorb partial losses.

It will not be an easy conversation. We’d better start it now.

Pondering

Look at the "do you need to pay April rent?" column.  Every single province says yes. You must pay it. You can apply for extra help in BC limited to 500$, but in all cases the rent will not be forgiven and evictions will start up again.

Notice homeless people are not being given even a room. They will be returned to the streets probably by summer with officials saying they wouldn't stay.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lends Support to May 1st Rent Strike

Tenants around the U.S. are organizing rent strikes, as rent comes due on May Day for millions of newly unemployed workers. And some homeowners are planning to withhold mortgage payments. New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling on state and federal officials to cancel housing payments nationwide during the pandemic.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “People can’t pay. You cannot coerce someone into doing something that they cannot do. There is no money in the bank. People need to feed their kids. We cannot be evicting. We need to be making sure that we are passing policy that allows people to stay in their homes.”

jerrym

For anyone interested in the history of rent strikes below is: "Fighting evictions during the Great Depression; The Great Rent Strike War of 1932 in the Bronx

https://isreview.org/issue/81/fighting-evictions-during-great-depression

NDPP

Anxiety Rises For Tenants and Landlords as May Rent Comes Due

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/tenants-landlords-may-rent-1.5548502

"People making choices about bill payments after job losses and business closures because of pandemic..."

If you can't pay DON'T pay!

NDPP

Join the Rent Strike! That's Right. Rent Strike

https://twitter.com/NYCAntifa/status/1256195756492566529

"Tens of thousands across the country will join one of the largest coordinated rent strikes in decades Friday, affecting three of America's largest cities - Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia."

For Survival.

Bacchus

I'm sure if you pay it all back later you could come to an arrangement. But no way can you never pay that money owed

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Bacchus wrote:

I'm sure if you pay it all back later you could come to an arrangement. But no way can you never pay that money owed

Yeah, because never in history has there been a debt that was not repayed.

Bacchus

Well without it, eviction is a sure thing with a inability to rent again from legitimate places

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

My point was that sometimes the underlying assumptions of a society change quite suddenly, and possibly this could be one of those times. Your conclusion is correct if things continue on after covid-19 generally how they were before, but historically such continuity is not guaranteed.

Bacchus

That is entirely possible maybe even probable in some instances, But overall I would say it will be same old same old to at least start with. Which wouldn't help the ones not paying rent now.  Is there such a thing as renters insurance?

NDPP

A friend tells me he has agreed with his landlord to pay half his rent and the balance payable after the pandemic is over.

Bacchus

Thats a very workable solution. This CERB is going to fuck so many people after this is over

NDPP

Cancel Rent and Stop Playing the Landlord's Game

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/04/cancel-rent-and-stop-playing-the...

"Cancel rent and smite the lords who feed off your labour. The land belongs not to them."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

May Day Protests Call for Housing Protections, Workers’ Rights and Immigrant Rights Amid Pandemic

Protests took place across the U.S. and around the world Friday for May Day despite the pandemic. Essential workers from Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target and FedEx held a mass strike to demand better health and safety conditions, and hazard pay. In Washington, D.C., the People’s Bailout motorcade rolled through the city. Around the country, nurses at well over 100 hospitals held “socially distanced” protests demanding personal protective equipment and to draw attention to healthcare workers who have died while fighting the coronavirus.

Here in New York City, protesters took part in a car caravan to call for worker protections and economic protections. The caravan passed in front of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office and the penthouse apartment of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In Times Square, demonstrators laid out body bags to represent victims of COVID-19. This is Perla Liberato, an activist with Make the Road New York.

Perla Liberato: “A lot of people are struggling with rent right now. People are not able to pay rent. A lot of people are not working. Especially undocumented folks are not receiving any kind of money to be able to survive in this pandemic. So we want to make sure that rent is canceled, until we know what’s going to happen next.”

Unhoused Activists Take Over San Francisco Vacant Home in May Day Protest

In San Francisco, two unhoused activists briefly took over a vacant house before being forced to leave Friday after police threatened to remove them by force. Activists with Reclaim SF protested the heavy police presence in front of the house, which is said to be an “investment property” that has been sitting empty for years. At least one person at the protest was arrested. This is Couper Orona, speaking from inside the house before being forced to leave.

Couper Orona: “We’re San Francisco. Right? We’re the [bleep]. We’re supposed to take care of each other. We’re supposed to be taking care of each other. And you’re not doing that. London Breed is so far away from anything that is reality to us. It’s like, it makes me feel lost, and I feel alone. I feel scared and alone in my own city, and that sounds bitter. And now I got all these guys right here on overtime, and here I am, like, still without a house.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NorthReport

‘This is about survival’: The students and tenants going on rent strike during coronavirus lockdown

Withholding rent may have seemed extreme two months ago, but now many tenants simply can’t afford to pay,

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rent-strike-student-coronavirus-lockdown-housing-crisis-a9493936.html

NDPP

Sex For Rent Offers Quietly Flourishing...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/sex-for-rent-1.5554415

"COVID-19 restrictions haven't helped..."

NDPP

Tenants Protest To Demand Rent Forgiveness

https://twitter.com/KeepYourRent/status/1260718537565442049

"Coverage of today's action by tenants across the GTA who descended upon their landlords' mansions in Forest Hill to demand no evictions and rent forgiveness under COVID-19..."

'Tenants Have No Rent To Give. Now We Know Where You Live!'

NDPP

Bar Owner Could Lose Business If Landlord Won't Opt For Rent Relief (and vid)

https://twitter.com/CBCNews/status/1260774005398745089

"Christopher Hudspeth owns a bar called Pegasus in downtown Toronto and says his landlord does not want to take part in the federal rent assistance programs which means his business might not survive a few more months..."

NDPP

"Business owners in Ontario unable to pay their commercial rent face possible eviction starting this weekend. 'This is really killing me. This is not the way I wanted to go out,' says Teresa Mazzei, owner of a boutique shop in Toronto. 'My hands are tied. There is no remedy for me."

https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1261421350956105728

 

'You know what drives me crazy? Vicious landlords,' said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. 'To all the landlords out there, have a heart.' Asked why Ontario doesn't issue a moratorium on commercial evictions, Ford said there would be a lot of legal issues if the government stepped in."

https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1261357992118751232

 

You know what drives me crazy? Lying politicians. Ontario landlords were significant backers/donors to the Ford campaign. If Ford was serious he'd face the legal issues. He isn't.

NDPP

Can't Pay. Won't Pay.

https://twitter.com/JohnOCAP/status/1261404287076311041

"We're collectively witholding enough of our rent so we can prioritise food and other essentials..."

Damn right!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

quote:

Renters across Canada have been feeling squeezed since COVID-19 hit. As provinces begin to re-open, what comes next?

Will we see large-scale evictions post-COVID-19? While provinces enacted eviction bans that protect people from the imminent threat of homelessness, residential tenants have not received targeted supports to help with the high cost of rent across the country. Without additional government measures, tenants who fall in arrears will be at risk of losing their homes during the reopening. Adequate housing is not only a fundamental human right, but as this pandemic made clearly evident, essential for public health.

This Friday, join CCPA-Ontario Senior Researcher Ricardo Tranjan and Maytree Foundation Research and Policy Analyst Hannah Aldridge as they detail their latest work exploring eviction prevention measures that governments can and should enact to ensure tenants remain safely housed.

RSVP Now: Here 

NDPP

Better get organized Canada. Coming soon...

 

Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Facing Homelessness During Pandemic as States Begin Lifting Restrictions on Evictions

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/26/acea-m26.html

"With nearly 40 million officially unemployed in the US, state and local governments are preparing to throw workers and their families out of their homes and into the street. Across the US, moratoriums on eviction proceedings and home foreclosures, set up in place during the onset of the pandemic, have either been lifted or are set to expire early next month. Advocates for affordable housing say that millions across the US are at risk of homelessness. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed nationwide to stave off a catastrophe

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Housing Justice During a Global Pandemic

By COVID-19 Coming Together (Vancouver)

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our profit-driven, corporatized housing system was a source of pain and suffering for tens of thousands of poor and working-class people in British Columbia—many of whom live in Vancouver, the city with the highest housing price to income ratio in Canada and the second highest in North America. Housing affordability is consistently rated as British Columbians’ top concern: with skyrocketing rentsweak eviction protectionslow property taxes on the ultra-richrampant gentrification and displacement, and a staggering lack of social housing units, people in BC have been hurting for a long time.

Then came COVID-19, and with it an unprecedented wave of death, unemployment, and evictions. In the midst of a pandemic, not being able to stay at home and not having access to sanitation supplies are matters of life and death for folks who are unhoused, precariously housed, or who are facing eviction. Until recently, all levels of government were able to get away with avoiding the responsibility to fix structural injustices in our housing system, but now that working-class people are feeling the effects of our broken housing system en masse, there has never been a more opportune time to demand tangible action from our elected officials on the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.  

The Inadequacy of the BC NDP’s Response

The provincial government currently has the most jurisdictional power in addressing the housing crisis. The BC NDP’s response to inequities in the housing system has not only been consistently inadequate; in certain respects, their COVID-19 relief efforts have lagged behind even those of right-wing governments across the country, including Doug Ford’s conservative government in Ontario. 

On March 19th, BC Housing implemented a temporary moratorium on evictions for tenants living in subsidized and affordable housing units—a heavily means-tested policy that only applied to a small minority of renters in BC, and should have already been in place years ago. It is egregious that BC Housing’s subsidized and affordable units were evicting tenants to begin with, so this announcement was not deserving of any praise, especially because it failed to address the major source of evictions: market-rate rental housing. Even Doug Ford’s regressive provincial government in Ontario had the sense to make their evictions moratorium universal. Ultimately, after facing backlash from housing activists across the province, the BC NDP Housing Minister, Selina Robinson, announced on March 25th that the temporary evictions ban would be extended to most rental units. But the damage had been done. Hundreds of tenants who had failed to pay rent due to mass layoffs and furloughs had already been evicted, and the ban would not even apply to tenants evicted before March 30th, giving landlords several extra days to push vulnerable people out of their homes with full permission from the BC NDP. 

On March 25th, the BC NDP also rolled out the BC Rental Assistance Program, which was initially advertised to be a $500 subsidy paid directly to landlords that required tenants to apply on their landlord’s behalf. The program did not strictly require landlords to lower the rent by the amount of the subsidy. Even this problematic program was too good to be true on the part of the BC NDP. Later revisions and clarifications of the program made it clear that the rental assistance would only apply to a minority of renters: the subsidy is $500 if recipients are able to prove that they live with dependents, and is only $300 otherwise. It is also only available to households with an annual income of less than $74,150 (or $113,040 with dependents), people who are eligible for CEI or CERB, pay over 30% of their income in rent, and do not receive any other government rent subsidies or disability and income assistance. And to receive assistance at all, renters must be able to pay their rent in full, which is categorically unattainable for a majority of renters in BC today. By applying needlessly complex and bureaucratic stipulations to the BC Rental Assistance Program, the BC NDP managed to get away with the bare minimum, which pales even in comparison to the $400 universal renter’s rebate they promised to implement upon being elected in 2017, years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rent Cancellation

On June 29th, 2019, the National Housing Strategy Act received royal assent, committing Canada to Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making housing a fundamental human right in Canada.

“Article 25.1: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

But in practice, the right to housing necessitates more than a declaration—in order to truly recognize housing as a human right, the government must guarantee all residents dignified, safe, and secure housing. Just as healthcare in Canada is free at the point of use and guaranteed as a right, housing must be too. As we see it, as long as the provision of housing is attached to pernicious, profit-driven market forces, the “right” to housing exists only as words.

Housing activists have argued for years that municipal and provincial responses to the housing crisis systematically and consistently cater to landlords, not tenants. This has long been apparent in Landlord BC’s influence over decisions made by municipal and provincial elected officials before the pandemic, and responses to COVID-19 continue to be conspicuously steeped in this bias. The aforementioned BC Rental Assistance Program is not a “rental assistance” at all—it’s a payment to landlords. It’s a landlord subsidy.....

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Here in New York, tenant rights advocates rallied outside housing courts in the Bronx and Brooklyn on Tuesday calling for a broader moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. One recent study estimated up to 28 million renters across the country are at risk of eviction as the country faces its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

NDPP

#Bill 184 is Dangerous For Tenants

https://twitter.com/Parkdalelegal/status/1283429207918489603

"the law makes it easier for landlords to evict tenants when they sign a rent repayment agreement. Tenants: If your landlord asks you to sign an agreement to repay rent, DO NOT SIGN and contact us for legal advice!"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Link

BREAKING: John Tory has chosen to flee the scene instead of agreeing to meet with tenants or to enact an emergency eviction moratorium.

At the beginning of lockdown Tory met with the biggest landlords in #Toronto.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NDPP

The US Now Has 4 Million Cases of Coronavirus and Numbers Continue to Rise

https://twitter.com/vickyyyf/status/1286398847372206080

"Four million cases of coronavirus in the US and not far off one new case every second. I asked several experts what the country needs to do now to get control of the pandemic..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Fighting an Eviction in a Pandemic

A COVID-19 emergency order continues to ban evictions in B.C. But that doesn’t mean some landlords aren’t trying.

Qiu Ling Chen was threatened with eviction from her Vancouver Chinatown hostel on Main Street Thursday.

Advocates were successful in stopping the eviction. But they’re worried other vulnerable tenants might not choose to fight back.

Nat Lowe, an organizer with the Chinatown Tenants Organization, is urging tenants threatened with eviction to get in touch with his organization or the Vancouver Tenants Union to get help.*

Lowe said he believes that when the provincial eviction ban is lifted at the end of August, there will be enormous pressure on tenants, especially in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.

Lorraine Shorrock is Qiu Ling Chen’s landlord. She told The Tyee she wanted Chen out for a number of reasons. Shorrock claimed Chen hadn’t paid rent since April. (Chen says she made cheques out to the building’s previous name, C&N Backpacker.)

Chen is “not sociable” and has locked other tenants out of the shared kitchen while she used it.

Chen said she did this to maintain social distancing in the small kitchen, as B.C.’s provincial health officer recommends to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Shorrock said Chen should be paying $650 a month for her double room, but no one will share the room with her.

But Chen showed The Tyee a copy of the lease she signed with the previous building owner setting the monthly rent at $450. Shorrock claims that lease agreement isn’t valid.

Inside Chen’s room on the third floor, there was barely room to walk between two bunkbeds crammed into the 100-square-foot room.

“You can see how small it is,” said Chen, who immigrated to Canada in 2009 and dreams of becoming a writer.

As Chen showed reporters the tiny room, the building’s manager kept up a steady stream of commentary from the doorway, asking why she had her bike in the room and where the mattress for one of the lower bunks was. (Chen showed him where she’d pushed it against the wall to make room for her suitcases).

When Chen complained about a mouse she saw in the kitchen, the manager told her: “You have to make friends with the animals!”

The Main Street building Chen lives in is valued at $6.7 million by BC Assessment. Shorrock also owns the St. Clair Hostel on Richards Street valued at $5.7 million.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Great work to fellow tenants from Chinatown Tenants Organization, @YVRTenantsUnion

and Solheim Tenants Association for standing by Qiu Ling!

NDPP

Keep Your Rent Toronto

https://twitter.com/KeepYourRent/status/1287402385539764225

"We oppose employers forcing OPSEU members to participate in the mass eviction of thousands of tenant across this province due to the COVID-19 crisis. There is nothing further from a public service. Sign and share! #NoCovidEvictions"

Solidarity forever! Not to resist is to collaborate.

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