Toronto tenants from Parkdale stormed their landlord's office Friday afternoon to demand an end to COVID-19 evictions.
According to a news release from Emina Gamulin, who describes herself as a "Parkdale organizer," dozens of tenants are occupying the Summerhill offices of Timbercreek Asset Management at 25 Price Street and are calling on the company to negotiate with people that are behind on their rent.
The group claims that Timbercreek "is hoarding 150 vacant units at the West Lodge buildings in #Parkdale in the midst of a housing crisis," according to one of their tweets.
Toronto Police report that Timbercreek is now sending an executive to speak to tenants at their 25 Price Street off… https://t.co/9QxXjs1EUH— Parkdale Organize (@Parkdale Organize)1603481560.0
They are also demanding that the company "create a plan for the vacant units at the West Lodge towers and to address hostile behaviour from staff, including willfully refusing repairs," according to the news release.
The protestors say that instead of negotiating with tenants, the landlord called the police.
Members from 175 households across four buildings in the Queen and Lansdowne area – 103 and 105 West Lodge and 157 and 165 Jameson Ave. – have signed a letter with their demands after a survey conducted by tenants of Westlodge found that one in five households is behind on rent.
“Timbercreek ... can afford to forgive the rent of tenants who’ve been unable to pay in full since April,” said Paterson Hodgson, a tenant at 105 West Lodge Ave., in the press release.
“The alternative is that Timbercreek will evict hundreds more working-class people into homelessness during an ongoing and worsening pandemic and housing crisis.”