Parkdale tenants declare victory in rent strike

Community Aug 12, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Parkdale Villager

Tenants from a dozen apartment buildings in Parkdale have declared their two-month-long rent strike a success.

Approximately 300 renters refused to pay rent until their landlord MetCap Living Management Inc. withdrew all pending Above Rent Guideline Increase (AGI) applications in Parkdale, stopped the practice of applying for AGIs in Parkdale, and resolved all outstanding maintenance repairs/issues.

According to an Aug. 3 post on its website, the community group Parkdale Organize! said MetCap has agreed to a “substantial” reduction in the above guideline rent increases at each building, a program of additional rent relief for tenants in financial hardship, and a program of maintenance and repair work in each building.

“We won this rent strike. MetCap has agreed to substantially reduce the above guideline rent increases at our buildings,” said Barb Livesay, a rent striker at 135 Tyndall Avenue, in a release issued the following day.  

“We showed them we won’t be pushed or priced out of our homes. We would urge working class renters everywhere to organize and build power in their own neighbourhoods.”

In June MetCap and its primary investor, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMC), met with representatives from each participating building to negotiate an end to the strike. Negotiations went into July.

In the end, MetCap/AIMC agreed to significantly scale back rent increases at the 12 Parkdale buildings.

“We won this strike because we refused to play by the rules,” said Bryan Daley, who lives at 90 Jameson Ave., in the release.

“Parkdale came together as a community and organized to defend our homes and we came out on top.”

About six months ago, tenants starting working together to take on their landlord.

“We know that the laws, courts, and bureaucracies of this system do not serve our interests and throughout this fight we would not be trapped in their dead ends. We refused to play by the rules,” read an Aug. 3 statement prepared by the community group Parkdale Organize! Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee.

The group’s members feel their efforts have been victorious.

“The organizing of hundreds of working class people in Parkdale, including us and our neighbours, has shifted the balance of power between landlords and tenants in Parkdale in our favour.”

In the online post, those living in the affected buildings said they feel the rent strike was won because it “expressed the collective strength of working class people in Parkdale” and “has built a new power in our neighbourhood, a power which is based in our own capacities as working class people.”

They also said more work needs to be done as many more tenants in Parkdale are facing similar rent increases and repair backlogs among other things.

“We are prepared to take up the struggles of all working class people in our neighbourhood whether around housing, education, employment, or any other area of our lives. By continuing to organize, we will become stronger and build our power in Parkdale,” said Parkdale Organize!, which also thanked everyone for their support in their fight.

The Parkdale Villager contacted Brent Merrill, president and CEO of MetCap Living Management Inc., for comment. Merrill indicated he was busy and said he’d be available to comment on the matter on Monday.

MetCap manages 19 apartment buildings in Parkdale, five of which are facing rent increases.

-with files from Hilary Caton

Parkdale tenants declare victory in rent strike

Landlord MetCap agrees to reduce rent increase, provide rent relief, and maintain and repair buildings

Community Aug 12, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Parkdale Villager

Tenants from a dozen apartment buildings in Parkdale have declared their two-month-long rent strike a success.

Approximately 300 renters refused to pay rent until their landlord MetCap Living Management Inc. withdrew all pending Above Rent Guideline Increase (AGI) applications in Parkdale, stopped the practice of applying for AGIs in Parkdale, and resolved all outstanding maintenance repairs/issues.

According to an Aug. 3 post on its website, the community group Parkdale Organize! said MetCap has agreed to a “substantial” reduction in the above guideline rent increases at each building, a program of additional rent relief for tenants in financial hardship, and a program of maintenance and repair work in each building.

“We won this rent strike. MetCap has agreed to substantially reduce the above guideline rent increases at our buildings,” said Barb Livesay, a rent striker at 135 Tyndall Avenue, in a release issued the following day.  

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“We showed them we won’t be pushed or priced out of our homes. We would urge working class renters everywhere to organize and build power in their own neighbourhoods.”

In June MetCap and its primary investor, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMC), met with representatives from each participating building to negotiate an end to the strike. Negotiations went into July.

In the end, MetCap/AIMC agreed to significantly scale back rent increases at the 12 Parkdale buildings.

“We won this strike because we refused to play by the rules,” said Bryan Daley, who lives at 90 Jameson Ave., in the release.

“Parkdale came together as a community and organized to defend our homes and we came out on top.”

About six months ago, tenants starting working together to take on their landlord.

“We know that the laws, courts, and bureaucracies of this system do not serve our interests and throughout this fight we would not be trapped in their dead ends. We refused to play by the rules,” read an Aug. 3 statement prepared by the community group Parkdale Organize! Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee.

The group’s members feel their efforts have been victorious.

“The organizing of hundreds of working class people in Parkdale, including us and our neighbours, has shifted the balance of power between landlords and tenants in Parkdale in our favour.”

In the online post, those living in the affected buildings said they feel the rent strike was won because it “expressed the collective strength of working class people in Parkdale” and “has built a new power in our neighbourhood, a power which is based in our own capacities as working class people.”

They also said more work needs to be done as many more tenants in Parkdale are facing similar rent increases and repair backlogs among other things.

“We are prepared to take up the struggles of all working class people in our neighbourhood whether around housing, education, employment, or any other area of our lives. By continuing to organize, we will become stronger and build our power in Parkdale,” said Parkdale Organize!, which also thanked everyone for their support in their fight.

The Parkdale Villager contacted Brent Merrill, president and CEO of MetCap Living Management Inc., for comment. Merrill indicated he was busy and said he’d be available to comment on the matter on Monday.

MetCap manages 19 apartment buildings in Parkdale, five of which are facing rent increases.

-with files from Hilary Caton

Parkdale tenants declare victory in rent strike

Landlord MetCap agrees to reduce rent increase, provide rent relief, and maintain and repair buildings

Community Aug 12, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Parkdale Villager

Tenants from a dozen apartment buildings in Parkdale have declared their two-month-long rent strike a success.

Approximately 300 renters refused to pay rent until their landlord MetCap Living Management Inc. withdrew all pending Above Rent Guideline Increase (AGI) applications in Parkdale, stopped the practice of applying for AGIs in Parkdale, and resolved all outstanding maintenance repairs/issues.

According to an Aug. 3 post on its website, the community group Parkdale Organize! said MetCap has agreed to a “substantial” reduction in the above guideline rent increases at each building, a program of additional rent relief for tenants in financial hardship, and a program of maintenance and repair work in each building.

“We won this rent strike. MetCap has agreed to substantially reduce the above guideline rent increases at our buildings,” said Barb Livesay, a rent striker at 135 Tyndall Avenue, in a release issued the following day.  

Related Content

“We showed them we won’t be pushed or priced out of our homes. We would urge working class renters everywhere to organize and build power in their own neighbourhoods.”

In June MetCap and its primary investor, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMC), met with representatives from each participating building to negotiate an end to the strike. Negotiations went into July.

In the end, MetCap/AIMC agreed to significantly scale back rent increases at the 12 Parkdale buildings.

“We won this strike because we refused to play by the rules,” said Bryan Daley, who lives at 90 Jameson Ave., in the release.

“Parkdale came together as a community and organized to defend our homes and we came out on top.”

About six months ago, tenants starting working together to take on their landlord.

“We know that the laws, courts, and bureaucracies of this system do not serve our interests and throughout this fight we would not be trapped in their dead ends. We refused to play by the rules,” read an Aug. 3 statement prepared by the community group Parkdale Organize! Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee.

The group’s members feel their efforts have been victorious.

“The organizing of hundreds of working class people in Parkdale, including us and our neighbours, has shifted the balance of power between landlords and tenants in Parkdale in our favour.”

In the online post, those living in the affected buildings said they feel the rent strike was won because it “expressed the collective strength of working class people in Parkdale” and “has built a new power in our neighbourhood, a power which is based in our own capacities as working class people.”

They also said more work needs to be done as many more tenants in Parkdale are facing similar rent increases and repair backlogs among other things.

“We are prepared to take up the struggles of all working class people in our neighbourhood whether around housing, education, employment, or any other area of our lives. By continuing to organize, we will become stronger and build our power in Parkdale,” said Parkdale Organize!, which also thanked everyone for their support in their fight.

The Parkdale Villager contacted Brent Merrill, president and CEO of MetCap Living Management Inc., for comment. Merrill indicated he was busy and said he’d be available to comment on the matter on Monday.

MetCap manages 19 apartment buildings in Parkdale, five of which are facing rent increases.

-with files from Hilary Caton