Herongate Tenant Coalition was formed to build power, strength and solidarity amongst working class people in the Herongate neighbourhood of south Ottawa. It exists now in this moment of crisis so we can have each other’s backs, care for each other and defend our neighbourhood from development, speculative and political forces that want us out of here. HTC is organized and run entirely by the working class people of Herongate.
Herongate Tenant Coalition was formed in May 2018 by tenants from across the neighbourhood. Our goal is to work together with our neighbours so we can deal directly with our landlords and bosses as an organized group to defend our homes and build our power. When landlords want to evict us, we say, “I’m not moving.” If landlords harass one of us, they have to go through all of us.
We are an independent organization, nobody gets paid and we’re not professionals. But we know if tenants come together and build our power, we can stop landlords from making our lives more difficult. In fact, we believe only tenants are capable of accomplishing this. Politicians and social services don’t address the issues that affect all working class people. Only through our own collective action, can we better our lives. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the success of organized tenants from different cities and the many tools we can use to defend our homes, including presenting demands as a group and even starting rent strikes.
Members of Herongate Tenant Coalition have built the largest housing human rights case in this country’s history. We tried to stop the mass demolition-evictions of over 500 Black and Brown tenants by Timbercreek in 2018, but we lost. But as a result of the work of tenants in documenting the neglect and speaking publicly about the abuse, we now have an extremely significant case before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against both the City of Ottawa and Timbercreek, and we also have several other civil suits against Timbercreek. While we’ve built a strong legal defence network, the legal system won’t change the way landlords operate. We have to work together to refuse eviction, harassment and rent increases.