114 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Kathleen Wynne, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, PC Leader Patrick Brown, Deputy Premier Deborah Matthews, MPP Vic Dhillon, Minister Tracy MacCharles

End Tarion’s new home warranty monopoly NOW: Give Ontario's new home buyers a choice!

Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne said the time for monopolies is over (National Post, Apr. 17, 2015). We think she’s absolutely right! Monopolies are notoriously inefficient and ineffective - the prices are too high and the production is too low - and they can "capture" the political and regulatory processes (CBS Money Watch, Sept. 18, 2014). And now Justice Cunningham has recommended ending Tarion's monopoly as a result of his Tarion Review! "...I am recommending the introduction of a competitive multi-provider model for warranty protection.  Introducing competition should encourage continuous improvement and innovation. This in turn can lead to better consumer outcomes such as enhancements in warranty protection beyond minimum amounts..." (Justice Douglas Cunningham, Tarion Review Final Report, Dec. 16, 2016). But the Wynne Government has not yet accepted Justice Cunningham's recommendation to end Tarion's monopoly.   Tarion is a private corporation created as a monopoly by the Government of Ontario to provide warranty protection to new home buyers and to regulate builders. The legislation was established in 1976 – 41 years ago – and many agree that it has never worked properly. Numerous media reports show that there are many serious problems resulting from the legislation and how Tarion is administering the legislation - and now Justice Cunningham has agreed!  The following summarizes the situation in three other provinces – and then in Ontario: Prov       2015 Housing starts    # of Warr Providers       Avg #        Alberta             37,282                         7                         5,326 BC                    31,446                        5                          6,289 Manitoba          5,501                           5**                      1,100 Ontario             70,156                         1                         70,156  This means that Alberta, BC and Manitoba offer a CHOICE of warranty providers AND, on average, the warranty providers in those provinces have a much more reasonable number of homes to service than Tarion.     Sign this petition to ask Premier Wynne to end Tarion’s monopoly and offer a number of warranty providers in Ontario -- like Justice Cunningham recommended -- and like other Canadian provinces are doing.  It's time for Ontario to catch up! ------------------------------------- * Statistics Canada  **effective 2017

Canadians for Properly Built Homes
1,076 supporters
Started 6 days ago

Petition to Raleigh City Council

Legalize granny flats in Raleigh

What is a granny flat anyway? It goes by several different names. Granny flats, backyard cottages, accessory dwelling units (or ADUs). But most of these terms refer to the same thing. It comes in many forms but it is essentially the construction of a second building on the property that is used as living quarters. It could be a basement apartment, a space built over the garage or a tiny house built on a foundation in the backyard. It's an old idea. You see them in DC in the alleyway apartments. You see them in older southern cities in the form of carriage houses. You even see them in Raleigh in older neighborhoods close to the city center like Cameron Park. They were built before the city outlawed them and they have been "grandfathered" in under the existing city code.  In fact, one city councilor, Russ Stephenson, who happens to live in Cameron Park actually has three ADUs on his property. Who knew that Councilor Stephenson is a YIMBY? He is literally saying, "Yes in my backyard" to ADUs on his own property but no to ADUs on yours. Next Wednesday, Raleigh city councilors are scheduled to take up a proposal in the city's Growth and Natural Resources committee that would essentially ensure that ADUs are unlikely to be approved or built anytime soon anywhere in the city.  The new law being proposed would, according to a city document, "create a new zoning overlay district, in which construction of an accessory residential structure would be permitted on the same lot as a principal building, subject to certain regulations." If you don't know what an overlay district is, that's probably because there are relatively few neighborhoods in the city that have one. A historic overlay district exists in Oakwood, for instance. There is also a provision in the city code that allows for a "neighborhood conservation overlay district." These type of rules govern issues like minimum lot setbacks, minimum lot depth, and maximum building height. These rules have been used, without exception, to make neighborhoods less dense and to block the construction of new housing. The same will be true here if this proposal is adopted. This new law is designed to put as much red tape and bureaucratic bluster between homeowners and the construction of a granny flat on their properties. The hope of the city councilors who support this proposal is that between the trouble and expense of having to go through the rezoning process and the requirement you to get 50% of all property owners within 15 contiguous acres of your property to sign a petition so that you can simply construct a small living space for your aging parents will convince to give up and not pursue it at all. After all, the folks who are against ADUs have been waging a war against them for years in Raleigh. They fought the proposal for backyard cottages during the process of adopting the Unified Development Ordinance between 2011 and 2013 eventually keeping them out of that law. They spread misinformation and fearmongering when Mordecai tried to get a pilot program for ADUs approved for their neighborhood blocking that proposal to this day. They have made their antipathy towards ADUs quite clear at this point. Disingenuously, they are now sure to come forward and claim that this new proposal is a "compromise." A compromise is not getting 100% of what you want. What these councilors want is to block ADUs from being built in Raleigh. This proposal will accomplish that goal. The time and exorbitant expense required to build even one of these structures will convince homeowners that it's not worth it. There are no legitimate reasons for making the process of building a small space on your property for your aging parents this difficult. Other cities in North Carolina, such as Durham and Asheville, already allow ADUs to be built by right. They have not experienced any serious problems from them.  The city's own Comprehensive Plan says that Raleigh should "ensure that zoning policy continues to provide ample opportunity for developers to build a variety of housing types, ranging from single-family to dense multi-family. Keeping the market well supplied with housing will moderate the costs of owning and renting, lessening affordability problems, and lowering the level of subsidy necessary to produce affordable housing." Specifically, in regard to ADUs, it says that constructing them can "provide affordable and workforce housing options and help accommodate future citywide residential demand." ADUs are not disruptive to neighborhoods. They have not caused problems in other cities. There is no legitimate reason to put your right to build a backyard cottage up to a vote of your neighbors. There is ongoing controversy involving an overlay district in Anderson Heights. I witnessed neighbors pitted against neighbors at a recent Five Points CAC meeting. The exchange was bitter and heated. But what do you expect when you cast neighbor against neighbor in a death match over the single most valuable thing that they own. Why would we want more of these disputes to be encouraged in our city? How can that be what is best for protecting the character of neighborhoods? With the potential economic development, new jobs and influx of new families moving to our area, we don't need city councilors to make it harder to build more housing. We need to be finding ways to make it easier. Unfortunately, Councilors Mendell, Stephenson, Crowder and Cox seem intent on taking us in the wrong direction. If you support legalizing more housing in Raleigh, they need to hear from you!

Brent Woodcox
105 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Affinity Sutton & RBKC, Save The Sutton Estate -pp/15/04678


William Sutton left his fortune to build the historic Sutton Dwellings in Chelsea, to house families on low incomes suffering from poor living standards. Many of the Sutton Estate's first residents were women on low income jobs. Over 2,000 people found a place there that could be called home .    But as on other estates in London, we’re being threatened with eviction because Affinity Sutton, the housing association that now owns the estate, knows that it can make a fortune at the expense of the residents. First it let the estate dilapidate, and now it’s planning to rebuild rather than refurbish, selling off almost half of the estate for multimillion-pound private homes, which could make it a profit of over £200 million.  Affinity Sutton paid nothing for the estate, they have done nothing for the estate, and now they want to cash in on the estate.  At a time when London and the local council is desperately short of social housing, officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington  & Chelsea have been working with Affinity Sutton on plans that will reduce social housing places on the estate by 453 people. What is happening here in Kensington & Chelsea is the tip of the iceberg of a housing crisis in London - where the rich are pushing out the poor, with councils sitting by and doing nothing.  Up to 70 families who had been placed by Kensington & Chelsea on the Sutton Estate, with a measure of stability for them and their children, are now threatened with being thrown out of their homes, and some of them out of London. We need to come together and stop the most vulnerable in society being victimised by powerful housing associations. If we keep pushing back - like we did with the recently publicised New Era housing and Focus E15 campaigns - there will come a point when property companies and councils realise that the British public are too powerful for them even to attempt these scandalous evictions. So far we have had the support of people from across the spectrum, including many local people from Chelsea, Eddie Izzard, John Simpson, Felicity Kendal and MP Tom Watson. Please join us too - and call on Keith Exford, the CEO of Affinity Sutton (salary from the charity in excess of £290,000) and the Council of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to stop the social cleansing and come up with a plan that will benefit the residents rather than their funds and that will increase the number of social housing places in the borough.

ian henderson
12,067 supporters
This petition won 1 year ago

Petition to Seattle City Council

Say Yes! To Housing Near Transit #udistrict #yestothefuture

Now is the time to voice your support for the U District Urban Design changes! The proposal would allow our city to house more people in the blocks surrounding the new light rail station opening in 2021 at NE 43rd St. and Brooklyn Ave NE. The proposal would also implement new affordable housing and open space requirements, as well as incentives for childcare, historic preservation, and street improvements. Learn more about the U District Urban Design Changes here:  The City of Seattle identified the following as the framework for these changes: Recognize light rail as a catalyst for change Balance the regional influences with the eclectic local character Provide a network of great streets and public spaces Grow and diversify jobs Welcome a diversity of residents Improve public safety Encourage quality and variety in the built environment Build an environmentally sustainable neighborhood Improve integration between UW and the U District Support walking, biking, and transit In addition to signing this petition it is important that you write to Seattle City Council today! Please email all the councilmembers and tell them you want walkable, amenity-rich, transit-rich neighborhoods that are welcoming to everyone. The U District is getting more and more expensive everyday. Opposing these design changes will not prevent rents from rising or help long term affordability in our growing city. Please support the U District Urban Design changes by signing this petition today! 

Seattle YIMBYs
204 supporters