The Hamilton Housing crisis was front and centre Saturday as members of the affordable housing advocacy group Acorn staged a march through downtown Hamilton today. Acorn was joined by members of the Hamilton Community Benefits Network, Hamilton and District Labour Council and Environment Hamilton.
Marnie Schurter, the Co-Chair of the Hamilton Mountain Chapter of Acorn says ACORN’s new campaign will focus on:
• The City of Hamilton implementing a strong inclusionary zoning policy to ensure affordable housing is built along the LRT route and other high density transit areas
• The City of Hamilton increasing the percent of affordable rental housing units created on public land
• Expanding ACORN’s no tenant displacement demands to include tenant protections from “demoviction.”
“We need to use public lands along the LRT route and across the city for affordable housing,” Marnie told the Bay Observer, “the LRT has already negatively affected tenants by demolishing their affordable housing with no replacement. We want to see a zero-displacement policy for LRT.”
When the former Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced federal funding for the LRT she volunteered that construction of affordable housing would be a condition of the LRT funding. The Bay Observer has contacted her office, that of Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney as well as Metrolinx to determine if affordable housing is being written into the Hamilton deal, and so far it appears that it is not being discussed.
“We need housing that is affordable to people earning $30,000 and under,” Marnie said. “There needs to be more compassion for people.”