STOP demolition of affordable residential rental housing by developers in Mississauga

STOP demolition of affordable residential rental housing by developers in Mississauga

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Affordable Housing Activist started this petition to City of Mississauga Council, Planning and Development and

Tannery House is a beautiful Heritage resource, previously unknown to be of historic value to the Village of Streetsville. Tannery house has not been torn down yet, but developers want to demolish it. The history of the house was discovered in Sept. 2019 but the City of Mississauga said it was not worthy of protection. (See post update, Oct 7, 2019) 

The house is still under the imminent threat of demolition by the developer NYX who intends to build 147 Stacked Townhomes. At least seven rental units were part of the area for proposed development although six were being rented out by tenants. The development was kept hidden from some residents before moving into Tannery house, Oct. 1, 2016. 

Mississauga residents voiced their concerns to City Council about the development and openly opposed the development in March 2019. Specifically: 

  1. The lack of available affordable housing. 
  2. Gentrification of the area. Many if not all proposed development(s) cater only to a specific demographic. Some renters are being driven out in a discriminatory manner or cannot afford the high rents in the current housing market. For some, shared rental housing is the only affordable option. 
  3. Little to no available affordable rental housing stock exists. Developments in theory, are driving up rental prices as well as population growth because rental housing is now a scarce commodity renters must compete for.
  4. Hardest hit are singles, seniors, people with disabilities, single parents, those on fixed incomes, full time workers whose income isn't enough to pay for a 1 bedroom etc. and are forced to pay a lot more than 30% of their income on housing. 
  5. Should the development go through, residents asked for a rental housing protection by law enacted in 2018 by the City of Mississauga and Demolition control by-law 45-19 to be enforced.
  6. Damage to the historical setting, environment and trees is troubling.  

City Council said all the laws would be taken into consideration including the rental housing protection by law. However, a large demolition fence was erected on the property on Friday Aug. 16th, 2019 in the dark after 9pm to block off grounds. Residents were not told what the fence was for though the landlord was asked for more information twice. The landlord declined to answer. 

After hearing a loud unexpected crash, one resident came outside on the evening of Aug. 16, 2019 to take photos of the fence going up and forced to call police due to feeling threatened by fence installers who did not wish to be documented. It was feared the camera would be taken or worse, that the person would be assaulted after the installation crew became aggressive and verbally abusive. 

NYX then sent a demolition crew at about 8:30 am the next day on Saturday Aug. 17, 2019. They demolished one building containing three apartment units in the complex in the same intimidating manner as the night before. This was to the total surprise of the tenants still living on the grounds in other units.

Who do you call on a Saturday morning to stop that from happening? Nothing could be done. A call to the City was dismissed and police did not want involvement. The residents felt bullied and harassed for having been vocal about opposing the development earlier in the year at City hall. 

The City has yet to approve the development. Some tenants on the grounds in other rental units felt forced to leave incurring great increases to their cost of rental housing. Buy outs from the landlord mean little in the current rental market and won't go far towards covering the increased cost of living.  

The City appears to favour the side of the developers. NYX did not disclose six rental units to the City in their application and was able to avoid triggering rental housing by law protection when they got their first and subsequent permits to demolish. Neither the City nor NYX told tenants about surprise demolitions. 

Councillor George Carlson appeared on the property immediately following the first demolition on Monday Aug. 19th to see what had happened onsite. He told a distressed tenant there was nothing that could be done...that the 20 day appeal period for the demolition permit had passed and gave an impression the approval of the development was a done deal.

The Chief building official at the City who granted the first demolition permit to NYX also refused to give any advance notice when asked about other upcoming demolitions on the property. 

The rental units ought to have had protection from demolition. By-law protection from premature demolition may have meant rental units in the new development could be replaced on a 1 to 1 basis at similar cost and/or other tenant protections may have been implicated. It appears to be a planned strategy to prevent tenants from having the means to protect themselves. See:  

The biggest concerns to be voiced at the next City Council Meeting(s) are:

  • The development should be modified to preserve the main house and conserve trees on the land for residents use. 
  • The city should plan in a non discriminatory manner for all renters threatened with loss of affordable housing. 
  • The safety of the current and potential future residents is implicated as the street will have high density housing traffic. Additional cars will create jams in downtown Streetsville with all proposed developments in the area collectively, spoiling the small town Village character. 
  • Strong evidence of conflict of interest exists between tenants and the City/NYX. Despite the rental housing protection by law that should have applied, the permit(s) to demolish rental units on the property were granted before the application is actually approved.
  • The demolitions by surprise appear to be for the purpose of forcing an outcome in favour of the developers and the City. Profit seems to be the only driving factor. Residents are being discouraged from participating in City processes via harassment.   

So far, the city seems to have brushed the residents concerns under the carpet and it remains to be seen how the City will resolve what has occurred. The City said they would like to see the house saved, but there is lack of clear path to enforcing that outcome. 

This developments in the area are detrimental to many renters and only beneficial to a select population. Signing this petition will go towards supporting residents who need affordable housing concerns to be taken seriously and have a voice with Mississauga City Council. Please be advised, this petition is considered a public document, including signatures and info. to be provided to the City of Mississauga Council, Building and Planning department. The information contained in this petition may also be subject to the scrutiny of the City and members of the general public. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and we hope you will sign for this cause!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!