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Issues & Policies

My letter regarding issues at 263 Russell Hill Road

June 9, 2014

 

 

Jennifer Hossain

Property Manager

263 Russell Hill Road

Toronto, ON

M4V 2T3

 

 

Dear Jennifer Hossain,

 

It has been brought to my attention by several tenants at 263 Russell Hill Road, an apartment building owned by Akelius Ltd., that repairs to lockers and balconies in this building remain unfinished.

 

It is my understanding that in October of 2013, repairs began on both lockers and balconies in the building, and that today, after eight months, remain unfinished. The tenants are concerned that they have been unable to access their lockers and their balconies during this time. Many are frustrated by the lack of communication between Akelius Ltd. and themselves regarding these repairs.

 

I have heard additional concerns from residents regarding notifications they have received about the elimination of superintendents in the building.

 

I would appreciate your prompt response regarding an expected completion date for the locker and balcony repairs.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul’s

www.joshmatlow.ca

 

Working together, progress achieved on Hodgson Rink

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here. I have also included an accessible plain-text version below:

 

March 12, 2014

 

 

Dear residents,

 

I am delighted to report to you that there has been very significant progress made by the City of Toronto and the TDSB toward an agreement regarding the future of the Hodgson Ice Rink. The City of Toronto is moving forward with tendering a $2 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the rink. Now that the TDSB is finally prepared to approve a lease agreement, the facility will continue to be located at Hodgson Senior Public School and, barring any unknown construction challenges such as inclement weather, the rink will most likely be ready for the 2014/2015 winter season.

 

I want to take this occasion to thank our School Trustee, Shelley Laskin, for her effective advocacy and partnership in these negotiations. I cannot express strongly enough how much I've appreciated working with Trustee Laskin on behalf of our community and how much I value her commitment to putting our neighbourhood's kids above all else. I also want to express my gratitude to the City of Toronto and TDSB staff who answered our call to focus on arriving at a resolution rather than the obstacles in their way.

 

To the parents and residents who have advocated for our local rink, I can tell you that not only were your voices heard, they were instrumental in what we've achieved.

 

I will share further details with you when an agreement is formally signed.

 

Each time our community has been presented a challenge, we've successfully faced it together.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

My motion to protect the rights of toronto tenants

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

December 20, 2013

 

Re: Protecting the Rights of Toronto Tenants

 

Dear Chair and Committee Members,

 

I am writing to request that the Committee consider the accompanying recommendations to support tenants across Toronto.

 

The relationship between a tenant and a landlord can often be difficult and confusing. The 50% of our residents that rent an apartment or house have special rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained building and not be subjected to rent increases above the provincially mandated increase without reasonable justification, or eviction without a fair hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

 

Unfortunately, my office has heard from too many renters that have been treated unfairly by their landlords. In most instances, these tenants were taken advantage of because they were unaware of their rights. Even if a tenant is knowledgeable, it is difficult for most people to assert their rights.

 

The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenant groups to organize and prepare for hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board for rent increase disputes, or at the Ontario Municipal Board for demolitions and condo conversion matters. The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenants with other matters as needed.

 

Please support these recommendations that will restore funding to help protect our tenants.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support tenants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

 

Click here to download this letter as a print-friendly PDF file.

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

December 20, 2013

Re: Protecting the Rights of Toronto Tenants

Dear Chair and Committee Members,

I am writing to request that the Committee consider the accompanying recommendations to support tenants across Toronto.

The relationship between a tenant and a landlord can often be difficult and confusing. The 50% of our residents that rent an apartment or house have special rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained building and not be subjected to rent increases above the provincially mandated increase without reasonable justification, or eviction without a fair hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Unfortunately, my office has heard from too many renters that have been treated unfairly by their landlords. In most instances, these tenants were taken advantage of because they were unaware of their rights. Even if a tenant is knowledgeable, it is difficult for most people to assert their rights.

The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenant groups to organize and prepare for hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board for rent increase disputes, or at the Ontario Municipal Board for demolitions and condo conversion matters. The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenants with other matters as needed.

Please support these recommendations that will restore funding to help protect our tenants.

Recommendations:

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support ten

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

December 20, 2013

 

Re: Protecting the Rights of Toronto Tenants

 

Dear Chair and Committee Members,

 

I am writing to request that the Committee consider the accompanying recommendations to support tenants across Toronto.

 

The relationship between a tenant and a landlord can often be difficult and confusing. The 50% of our residents that rent an apartment or house have special rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained building and not be subjected to rent increases above the provincially mandated increase without reasonable justification, or eviction without a fair hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

 

Unfortunately, my office has heard from too many renters that have been treated unfairly by their landlords. In most instances, these tenants were taken advantage of because they were unaware of their rights. Even if a tenant is knowledgeable, it is difficult for most people to assert their rights.

 

The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenant groups to organize and prepare for hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board for rent increase disputes, or at the Ontario Municipal Board for demolitions and condo conversion matters. The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenants with other matters as needed.

 

Please support these recommendations that will restore funding to help protect our tenants.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support tenants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

 

ants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

   

My request of Toronto council to eliminate the 2014 Tax & Debt Increases for a Bloor-Danforth subway extension

January 28, 2014


Re: EX 37.1 Recommendation 160 and EX 37.3 Recommendation 1b – Allocation for Scarborough subway extension and associated property tax increase in 2014 Budget


Dear Colleagues,


I am writing to request that you consider the accompanying recommendations requesting that the proposed .5% tax increase for the Bloor-Danforth subway line be eliminated from the 2014 property tax rate. As well, I am requesting that the $14.5 million allocation for the extension be removed from the 2014 budget and referred to the 2015 budget process.


Council was provided with imperfect and incomplete information in the lead up to the October vote on Scarborough rapid transit options. Staff estimated that the City will be responsible for an estimated $85 million in sunk costs for rejecting the fully-funded, traffic-separated LRT. These costs are still under review by City and Metrolinx staff.


How much will the City have to pay Bombardier for the cancelled LRT vehicle contracts?

In addition, while it is unacceptable to see tax dollars spent for absolutely no return, perhaps even more troubling are potentially more expensive unknowns and/or unfunded items associated with the subway extension. The cost impact of an interest rate increase on the required infrastructure loan during a period of historically low interest rates has not been projected. The future capital maintenance cost of the three stop extension is estimated to be between $30-40 million a year - equal to a 1.25 – 1.6% ongoing property tax increase. How will this increase affect residents' ability and willingness to fund future priority transit projects?


To date, neither detailed planning studies nor geotechnical work has begun on the extension. The City has not hired new in-house staff or outside consultants to work on the project. In short, we haven't spent any money toward the subway extension.


Let's make the prudent and fiscally responsible choice to work with staff over the next year to receive a full and accurate accounting of the sunk costs associated with the LRT cancellation and all the costs required for the subway extension. Together, we can revisit this issue during the 2015 budget process with a clear understanding of the long term impacts this decision will have on Torontonians.


The 2014 budget process presents Council with our last opportunity to press pause on this process without incurring further costs. There are many other governments that wish they would have had a similar chance.


Cost Concerns

  • In addition to $2.65 billion in provincial and federal funding along with $165 million in development charges, the extension will cost $745 million in property tax-supported debt capital costs requiring a 1.6% tax increase

This capital cost does not factor in:

  • $30 - 40 million per year in future capital maintenance costs which would be borne by Metrolinx if Council opts for the LRT. That alone is equal to a 1.25 – 1.6% property tax increase

  • Acceleration of implementing Automatic Train Control on the remainder of the Bloor-Danforth line, valued at $450 million, which has previously been included in the TTC's 10 year capital program, post 2023

  • Cancellation of Bombardier contract - cost unknown

  • Annual operating costs – cost unknown

  • Assumed risk of construction cost overruns

  • Assumed risk of increased cost of borrowing if interest rates rise

Recommendations:


  1. Eliminate the .5% residential and .2% non-residential property tax increase for the extension (Scarborough subway extension) contained in 1a of EX 37.3

  2. Delete recommendation 160 from EX 37.1 from the TTC Capital budget including $14.5 million allocation for "change in scope sub-project" in 'a'' and all Council direction to proceed with activities related to the extension contained in 'b', 'c' and 'd'

  3. Request that the City not issue any debentures or otherwise incur any costs for activities associated with the extension in 2014, with the exception of costs associated with the analysis and audit of sunk costs

  4. Request staff provide the full sunk costs associated with the cancellation of the Metrolinx LRT plan and a funding plan for all capital and operating costs associated with the extension including cost projections for all reasonable interest rate increase and cost overrun scenarios for consideration as part of the 2015 budget process


Sincerely,



Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

   
   

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