At Queen’s Park this morning I asked the government a question about their continued allowance of Above the Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs), despite the fact that they are routinely abused and are harmful to tenants in Ontario.
For those who don’t know, AGIs are a tool for landlords to recoup the cost of capital investments in their buildings – by allowing them to increase the rent on tenants by up to 3% per year (on top of the standard rent increase).
The purported rationale for allowing AGIs is to ensure that small landlords to ensure they have the funds to renovate apartments, and share some of that cost with tenants. However, in most cases, AGIs don’t make sense because the tenants are left paying for a capital investment in their residence – that will increase the value of the property value for the landlord.
The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of AGIs are filed by large corporations that own many buildings, and they are often approved for repairs and upgrades that unnecessary for the building. They’ve become a tool for landlords to increase their profits by simultaneously forcing tenants out of their homes with increased rents, and ensure that the new tenants moving in will be charged often much higher rents than the previous tenants.
The Ford government has refused to act on this issue, and even in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when rents were frozen, they allowed AGIs to continue in many cases.
In the previous session of parliament I sought to close those loopholes, and in this current session of parliament I will continue. Just this morning, I asked the government to ban abusive AGIs – and I will continue to work on this file diligently moving forward.
Over the weekend, I was thrilled to spend time in two of our great communities Frankel Lambert and Oakwood Village for my back-to-school supplies exchange tables!
I want to send a very special thank you to Sarah Robinson from the Toronto Cares Initiative for her incredible donations to the tables, and all of our fantastic volunteers for coming out to make the days special. Over the course of the weekend we were able to distribute lots of supplies to children heading back to school, and I hope it helped them have a great first day!
I also want to thank everyone who took the time to donate, or swing by to pick something up. This weekend once again proved what an incredible community we have.
This weekend was also the Labour Day Parade, and I was proud to march alongside my Ontario NDP colleagues and our allies in the labour movement. There was great energy in the air and I’m looking forward already to marching again next year!
Finally today, I sadly must address something troublesome in our community. This weekend there was another reported shooting in Toronto-St. Paul’s, and in this case while they have survived, there was a severely injured victim. I want to let everyone know that if they’ve been affected by this incident, if you reach out to my office, my team will put you in contact with the team from the city that deals with these traumatic incidents.