On Friday, August 10, our lawyer, Daniel Tucker-Simmons with Avant Law, sent a letter to Timbercreek giving them notice that we are gearing up for a human rights case to STOP THE EVICTIONS.
But we will only have a chance if we raise enough money.
Donate now to our GoFundMe Legal Defence Fund or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to donate via cheque or cash in person or directly to our bank account.
We need your help—we’re fighting an uphill battle and this is a critical moment for us.
In as little as 2 months, over 500 of our neighbours in Herongate will be facing eviction. We’re up against one of the country's largest corporate landlords, Timbercreeek Asset Management, who has filed notices to terminate the tenancy of tenants from approximately 150 three- and four-bedroom townhomes, on the grounds of demolition.
Background on Herongate
In 2012, Timbercreek purchased 23 hectares of private rental housing in Herongate—a working class neighbourhood in South Ottawa—becoming the owner of one of the largest, rental clusters in the country. The first round of evictions took place in the winter of 2016, when 80 units were demolished and families were torn from their homes, to make way for upscale “resort-style” apartments. In the Spring of this year, they informed the tenants of 150 homes they would be next. But this time, the neighbourhood organized.
Today, hundreds of working class tenants across Herongate have joined the coalition, including labourers, union members, homemakers, students, and children. We’re standing together, united. We’re fighting back. We’re defending our homes. We’re defending Herongate. As workers, we must have each other’s backs on the job; as tenants, we must have each other’s backs in our neighbourhoods.
Timbercreek has requested that tenants move out by September 30, 2018. But anytime before or after that date, the landlord has the option of filing for eviction at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This means, that as early as this fall we may find ourselves before the LTB with dozens upon dozens of high-stake eviction hearings that need to be fought—and won. There are also a number of other legal defence strategies that are being considered, depending on our financial capacity.
Our ask to you
In order to have the finances to support a fully operational legal team, the Herongate Legal Defence Fund must raise thousands of dollars in grassroots donations in the coming weeks. A financial gift of any amount is greatly appreciated, and will help us sustain our fight to defend Herongate.
From our neighbourhood to yours—thank you.
Nima Hussein is a student studying International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa. She is a longtime resident of Herongate and an organizer with the Herongate Tenant Coalition.
When I was eleven years old, my family experienced a deep tragedy. My father had suddenly passed away, leaving my mother to raise six children. With only her faith in tow, she packed up her kids and we moved to a tiny 3 bedroom house in Heron Gate. Since then, we’ve found a community here, a big at heart, loving community, one that welcomed us with open arms. It’s been 11 years since we first moved here. And over the last few, I’ve been forced to watch as families are torn apart in the name of Timbercreek’s agenda. Read more
WE ARE HERONGATE is our regular online newsletter. It features photos and videos with residents of Herongate, articles written by residents and allies, and facts about our neighbourhood.
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Neal Rockwell is an artist, journalist and media activist based in Montreal. He is collaborating with the Herongate Tenants Coalition to create multimedia documentation of the lives and living conditions of Herongate residents. He is also working on a skillshare with tenants to help develop media and documentary skills. Notebook is his ongoing feature, which includes a mixture of written observations and interviews, photographs and short video clips.
The last time I visited Herongate it was raining. It was a day of intermittent precipitation, relatively cool before the stifling heat wave of a week later. A tenants’ meeting was scheduled for the afternoon. Before the meeting we went to Mohamed Yussuf’s house to meet up with his daughter, Ikram Dahir. She was still out when we arrived so we waited with Yussuf’s wife. As I mentioned in a previous article, they had had a problem with their bathroom since September 2017. The roof leaks, and water had caused damage to the ceiling and allowed mould to proliferate. Despite numerous calls, Timbercreek management was unresponsive for nearly nine months. Read more