TORONTO — NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park Bhutila Karpoche is calling on the Ford government to pressure rental company Timbercreek Asset Management to carry out long-overdue repairs to two Parkdale high-rises notorious for their abominable conditions. Karpoche says Ford should also intervene in Timbercreek’s mass evictions and exploitation of tenants at Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board.
The Parkdale residential apartment buildings at 103 and 105 West Lodge Avenue have received considerable media coverage over the years due to its complete neglect by the landlord.
Tenants say that since Timbercreek took over West Lodge in October 2018, it “immediately launched a concerted drive to displace tenants from the buildings.”
“West Lodge tenants face conditions that are, simply put, unlivable,” Karpoche said. “Many of these tenants report living in buildings without heat, infested with bed bugs and cockroaches and in desperate need of repair. Four out of eight of the buildings’ elevators don’t work. Tenants have shared experiences of floods, fires and electrical outages. I have heard horror story after horror story from tenants and housing activists who say building maintenance and tenant concerns have been ignored by the landlord for years.”
Housing advocates and tenants report that, despite its neglect of the buildings, West Lodge’s owner continues to get the province’s approval to increase tenants’ rent above the annual legal limit, and to “renovict” tenants. Since January, Timbercreek has reportedly taken dozens of tenants to Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board in an attempt to evict them for late rent — often, activists say, due to the landlord’s own accounting errors.
In addition, currently, 70 units sit empty, a reality Karpoche says is shameful, given Toronto’s housing crisis.
“The Wynne Liberals did nothing to protect these tenants, and now the Ford government is making things worse, neglecting to investigate Timbercreek’s exploitation of tenants at the Landlord and Tenant Board, and not intervening to stop renovictions by a landlord that hasn’t actually renovated in years,” Karpoche said.
“The Ford government must take action to stop the repulsive practices of this landlord. Toronto residents deserve a government that stands up for their basic housing rights, not one that fails to protect them.”