ACORN tries to rally tenants - Metro US

ACORN tries to rally tenants

An activist group is starting a campaign Tuesday to raise the tenant vote across Ottawa.

Members of ACORN — Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — say they’ve been fighting for more than two years to get the city to address the issues of tenants and are hoping that the My Rent, My Vote: Tenants Vote 2010 campaign will be the way.

“Tenants are facing mould, broken windows, doors that are in disrepair and general maintenance issues,” said ACORN member Kat Fortin. “Some tenants are saying they’re being ignored by their landlords.”

Fortin said some tenants don’t vote because they feel their voice is not being heard.

“We’re seen as being less important than homeowners,” said Fortin. “But we do have an influence. We’ve got to get tenants to go out and vote so we can influence housing and landlord matters.”

ACORN Canada is one of the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families with more than 25,000 member-families organized into 20 neighbourhood chapters in four cities nationwide.

The campaign launches Tuesday at the Heron Road Community Centre at 11 a.m. and at the Vanier Community Service Centre at 3 p.m.

In addition to the campaign, ACORN is asking councillors to support a landlord fee paid to the city that would fund the expansion of property standards that would allow them to conduct more building inspections, a press release stated.

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