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Motion Passes at Toronto City Council That Improves Outcomes for Demovicted Tenants

There was some exciting news coming out of City Council this past week, where Council voted to pass motions that would help address key tenant issues that No Demovictions has been advocating for over a year, including improved tenant compensation. You can read our submission to City Council here, and watch the City Council meeting here (starts at 9:29:15).

Before getting into what passed and why it matters, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to every single organization, partner, and individual who made this possible -- from sending letters and emails, to sharing links and petitions on social media. Tenants and tenant advocacy organizations sent in hundreds of emails to show their support for these motions (of course, developers also send in their letters, too).

All of your efforts have helped to make these changes possible, and we are so grateful to each and every one of you for supporting this important work. Finally, we are so grateful to Councillor Josh Matlow and his staff (Sebastien Gibson and Andrew Athanasiu), who were instrumental in bringing forward these motions and getting them passed. When we work together, we can make meaningful change.

Here's what the approved motions do. City Planning will: 

  • ✅ Update its website with updated implementation practices for demovictions, so that tenants have access to crucial information related to the Tenant Relocation and Assistance Plan. 

  • ✅ Publicly communicate outcomes of the rental replacement and tenant relocation and assistance policy.

  • ✅ Continue discussions with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on the methodology for how vacant purpose-built rental units are surveyed as part of the annual Rental Market Report and identify improvements to ensure rental data reflects local market areas.

  • ✅ Tenants' compensation for Section 111 Agreements (between the City and developers, regarding demovictions) would include:

  • New baseline data for calculating Average Market Rent (AMR), which would use buildings built after 2015 to calculate AMR (and tenants' rent gap payments). Overall, this is a substantial improvement to AMRs, and would result in hundreds of dollars in additional compensation per month for tenants during the displacement period, enabling them to find safe, suitable, alternative housing. 

  • Further, City Planning has been directed to "make all reasonable attempts" to include the new rent gap approach in demoviction applications subject to conditional approvals without finalized Section 111 agreements, and report back, where applicable, to the appropriate Community Council with recommendations to apply the new rent gap payment calculation. 

  • Rent gap payments that are indexed upwards based on the growth in rent over the past 10 years (this is approximately 6%, depending on the unit type).

  • ✅ City Planning will report back on:

  • The feasibility of including the secondary market (condominiums) in the calculation of local rent gap payments, and whether this is more reflective of local rental markets. 

  • Compliance with tenant relocation and assistance policies during the relocation period in Section 111 agreements (i.e., those policies not addressed in the Auditor General’s report in February 2022 regarding Rental Replacement policies)

  • ✅ City Planning and other City departments will ensure representation of tenants and tenant advocacy groups who have, or are experiencing demoviction, on the Renters’ Action Committee.

  • ✅ Councillor Moise also put forward an amended motion to request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to continue consultation with stakeholders, including tenant advocates, the Building Industry and Land Development Association, and Greater Toronto Apartments Association, as part of the development of updated implementation practices and review of the use of CMHC data for 2015+ rental buildings.

What's Next?

  • The No Demovictions team is taking a little bit of time to rest after a long week of advocacy. We are all so very tired! Happy, but tired. 

  • We know that these motions are a good first step, but the details of implementation matter. So, we'll be reaching out to you in the coming weeks as we learn more about these motions and how they will impact tenants facing demoviction across Toronto. 

  • In particular, we want clarity on how the new AMR data would apply to tenants at various stages of demoviction. 

  • As noted above, the motion put forward by Councillor Moise outlines key developer lobbying groups, but not tenant advocacy groups-- but we want to ensure tenant advocacy groups have a seat at the table. We will be reaching out to tenant advocacy organizations to see if there is interest in jointly responding to this motion to make our intentions known, that when it comes to demovictions, nothing about us, without us. 

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support and collaboration. 

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