WATCH: Ontario NDP bill would extend rent control to newer buildings
There's a new push at Queen's Park to get a handle on the rising cost of renting.
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns will put forward a private members bill on Monday that would see rent controls applied to buildings constructed on or after November 1, 1991.
"Our bill extends rent hike protections to all Ontarians by eliminating the 1991 loophole. It gives everyone the basic guarantee that rent increases will have to follow the annual guideline which, this year, is about 1.5 per cent," Tabuns explains.
Twenty years ago the Conservative government created the 1991 loophole that exempts landlords of those buildings from rent protection.
"I hear stories from young people who feel like they're one rent hike away from having to find a new home; I hear stories from young parents who tell me they're always thinking about what they will need to cut from their budget if their rent goes up," he adds. "Too many are at the risk of homelessness, too many are couch surfing. It's time to do something about it."
Ranziba Nehrin lived in east Scarborough when she finally got her dream job at a small communications agency in downtown Toronto. She says her transit commute would take 2.5 hours one-way to get to work and she just couldn't do it anymore. Nehrin now lives in an apartment close enough that she can walk. "I feel very precarious in the rental situation that I am in. I haven't, personally, experienced a rental hike but I am always living in fear of it. I spend more than 40 per cent of my income on rent and that's a very scary place to be in."
The NDP introduced an earlier version of this bill in 2013, yet the loophole was kept in place by the Liberals. "I think they are well connected to developers. Those investors, developers like to be able to crank up the rent whenever they want to. I think the Liberals and Kathleen Wynne are looking out for themselves and not looking out for people, generally, who actually need some protection, some system that will protect them from doubling of their rent," Tabuns says.