The CN Tower can be seen behind condos in Toronto's Liberty Village community in Toronto, Ontario on April 25, 2017. As rent cheques come due, some are warning that Ontarians should prepare for a wave of evictions now that protections put in place earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

The Ontario NDP pleaded Friday for the Ford government to extend a pandemic-related ban on rental evictions that is due to expire on the weekend as critics fear a looming expansion of Toronto’s housing crisis.

“It is the eleventh hour,” NDP tenant rights critic Suze Morrison said. “Either he (Premier Doug Ford) changes course today, or the evictions start tomorrow.”

Advocates warn lifting the moratorium on hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) will lead to a massive wave of evictions and allow developers and corporate landlords to hike rental rates — especially in Toronto where demand is strong and supply is tight — after Ford previously removed rent control on vacated sites.

It won’t be quite as quick as Morrison suggests; eviction orders that were in process before the pandemic will now be acted on, and non-urgent eviction hearings will start in mid-August, Tribunals Ontario said this week.

But whether it is tomorrow or some time in August, the body responsible for ordering a sheriff to remove someone’s belongings from their home in Ontario will soon be considering the cases of tens of thousands of people who lost work when COVID-19 shuttered the economy.

“People who have never missed a rent payment or car payment in their entire lives are now terrified of being evicted,” Morrison said.

The province has not offered renters any specific assistance since March, when restrictions on social interactions led to the loss of large numbers of retail and hospitality jobs, and the federal assistance available does not cover an average Toronto rent.

Younger renters are particularly vulnerable to eviction given many are employed in precarious or part-time work that has been lost to the pandemic and related shutdowns.

“It’s the responsibility of the province to step up and make sure that folks are able to stay housed… and instead the premier …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music


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