Tenants on rent strike returned hundreds of eviction notices to their landlord and issued Dream Unlimited a notice of their own: the rent strike continues!
A growing majority of tenants at 33 King St and 22 John St, two high-rise buildings in York South–Weston, will continue a rent strike into the third month, despite receiving eviction notices. To mark the beginning of the third month of the rent strike, tenants returned hundreds of eviction notices to their landlord Dream Unlimited today and extended another invitation to sit down at the negotiating table.
Despite comments to the media suggesting otherwise from Michael Cooper, President and CEO of Dream Unlimited, their landlord has yet to sit down and negotiate any of the strike demands from the tenant union, who have been on rent strike since June 1st with the following demands: (1) withdraw the existing AGIs and commit to no more AGIs at 33 King; (2) compensation for loss of services and amenities at 33 King and 22 John; (3) abide by rent control at 22 John.
“Michael Cooper told the media that Dream Unlimited is willing to negotiate, but we haven’t heard anything from him. In fact, the only thing we’ve received from Dream Unlimited are eviction notices” says Anthony Alao from 22 John St who was issued an eviction notice shortly after joining the rent strike.
“They think these notices will scare us, but they’re just paper,” says Mohammed Abdiziz from 33 King. “We are a majority, many of us in the building are taking a stand, and we know we’re stronger together and definitely stronger than a sheet of paper.”
“Dream Unlimited keeps talking about how much they care about this community, but if they really cared, they would sit down and negotiate with us, not threaten to evict more than half the building” says Sharlene Henry from 33 King St.
Tenants at 33 King have seen their rents increase by 22% in the last 5 years, despite living in a rent-controlled building, which should have seen rents increase no more than 7% in the same period. Tenants at 22 John St have seen monthly rent increases that range from 7 to 10% year-over-year. 22 John is not rent controlled despite being built on public land with $10M of public funding.
Their landlord, Dream, is an international corporation with over $16 billion in assets and 30,000 rental units under its control. According to Dream’s own financial report, 50 percent of their rental income is profit. Despite these high profits, they continue to apply for AGIs at 33 King St year after year; while continually increasing rents way above the provincial guideline at 22 John St, extracting even more rent from struggling tenants.
On Tuesday morning tenants returned hundreds of eviction notices to their landlord and issued Dream Unlimited a notice of their own: the rent strike continues!