York South-Weston Tenant Union's response to Dream Unlimited and Frances Nunziata
RESPONSE TO DREAM UNLIMITED’S STATEMENT
Tenants at 33 King St. and 22 John are on rent strike to demand an end to endless rent increases and compensation for the conditions tenants have had to live with for the last 5 year. Tenants are committed to collective action until Dream Unlimited sits down to negotiate in good faith on these demands
The York South-Weston Tenant Union rejects Dream Unlimited’s offer to create individual repayment plans. We are not interested in paying for rent increases that were excessive and unwarranted in the first place - rent increases 4 times rent control even during the pandemic rent freeze. We stand with and behind our neighbours to negotiate a fair and collective resolution on current and future rent increases and renovations for all tenants in the building.
Further, the landlord’s claim that 40% of units are exempt from AGIs is misleading. Residents in these units, most of whom are participating in the rent strike, have already been subject to excessive above guideline rent increases over the past ten years.
Dream Unlimited’s promises and good faith have also proven to be unreliable in the past. The negotiated agreement for the 2018 AGI has yet to be honoured by the landlord, and tenants have not seen a single cent from this settlement as the landlord attempts to use other AGIs to continue padding their profits.
Dream Unlimited’s own financial statements show that the rent they collect is 50% profit, and their claims to be below-market rent at 22 John are dubious at best. For example, a one-bedroom apartment was recently listed at $3900/month!
The tenants in these buildings are hard-working people who simply want fair and predictable rent. We are not looking for charity, we just want rent control, and we will continue our action until the landlord is willing to sit down and negotiate in good faith.
RESPONSE TO FRANCES NUNZIATA’S STATEMENT
The York South-Weston Tenant Union is glad to hear that City Councillor Frances Nunziata is aware of the rent strike at 33 King Street and 22 John, and that she respects tenants’ right to peaceful protest and participation in the rent strike as a form of collective protest.
While we appreciate the Councillor’s attention on this matter, we did not ask the Councillor to speak on our behalf nor do we trust her to do so. If she is really in favour of tenants, she should convene a meeting between our tenant union and Dream Unlimited, rather than making a back room deal without us.
Tenants from 33 King and 22 John will not be shut out yet again from discussions and negotiations that directly affect our future and livelihood. It is essential that the landlord negotiate directly with the tenants’ union, and that the Councillor include their tenant union in any discussions with the landlord.