Kitchener looks to support evicted tenants through new survey

The City of Kitchener has introduced a new tool in the form of an online survey that will help make “informed decisions” about how to help displaced tenants and those facing eviction.

The city is also looking to get a grasp on the magnitude of the issue across the city.

“That’s part of why we have the survey. We don’t know [how many people are in the process of getting evicted],” said Ward 10 Councillor Stephanie Stretch in an interview with CityNews 570.

The voluntary and confidential survey includes questions like the cost of rent for your unit and how your landlord gave you a notice of eviction. Those who participate can skip any question by clicking “prefer not to answer.”

Stretch said it’s important for Kitchener to understand the issues tenants are facing and look at whether any patterns form after hearing different eviction stories.

“I would really like us to continue to strive to be a caring community and figure out how do we stop poor-faith renovictions from happening and if there’s anything policy-wise or bylaw-wise that we can do to help that,” said Stretch. “We definitely have some more learning to do but we’re really interested in trying to help people.”

Stretch added that it’s imperative that residents have access to supports if they need it.

“We already have some information up on [the City of Kitchener] website about understanding your legal rights. If you are someone going through [an eviction], know you’re not alone… but if you know someone going through this, learning what supports are available in the community is important.”

Stretch recommended ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), an national organization with a local branch.

Housing affordability advocates rally in Waterloo on Oct. 30, 2023. / CityNews Kitchener

ACORN Waterloo Region is hosting an event Wednesday afternoon in downtown Kitchener to present the findings from a recent Freedom of Information request for Landlord and Tenant Board data on renovictions and demovictions.

It takes place at 1 p.m. at 250 Frederick Street.

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