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Press Release

ADVISORY-Tuesday March 5th: Ottawa ACORN Healthy Homes Forum

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2013) - ACORN (Ottawa Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), after countless hours of our members organizing and working on tenant campaigns over the past few years, ACORN members who are over 10,000 families and one of the largest tenant stakeholders in the City of Ottawa, have determined the current minimum standard for residential properties and enforcement protocols needs improvement to create a healthy standard of living for all residents of Ottawa.

We have met with the city and city by-law since early fall 2012 and are working to make changes to bring problem properties to a Healthy Homes standard with the city. To celebrate progress and accomplishments, members will host a public "Healthy Homes Forum" this Tuesday. There will also be room for discussion with councillors, the city-by and the public about more ways to address housing conditions in Ottawa. Members invited all councillors to participate in the forum and City-by law will present a review the following new accomplishments ACORN has worked with the city to achieve: a new pictorial city inspection form, proactive inspection program with ACORN across the city, and new system postings of outstanding city orders on problem properties.

When: Tuesday March 5 2012, 6pm
Where: 2525 Alta Vista Dr, St Patrick's High School, in the Cafeteria
Why: Public discussion around healthy homes in Ottawa
What: Forum with the public, city by-law, city councillors (Mark Taylor, Eli El-Chantiry, Mathieu Fleury, some councillors TBA)
Who: Ottawa ACORN members, supporters, the public

ACORN member Jessica Pierce, who is paying market rent, lives with her mother in Herongate who suffering from a disability and has experienced constant infestations of bed bugs and cockroaches, flooding in her unit, no closet doors for the first year living in the her unit, main doors are unlocked the building or not locking at all, ceiling collapsing and more. Jessica has lived in Herongate for two years and she called constantly to get repairs in her unit, she says, "No one should ever have to go through this. To get your toilet fixed for instance, that's so simple. The money should be spent on the units, fixing this place up like it should be. 20 years ago this was a beautiful place when my mother used to live here and it's frustrating and sad that's it's gotten worse." Jessica recently had city by law inspect her unit and will be helping and volunteering to engage others to access the same services.

TO NOTE: We will be launching the SECOND series of inspections with city by law at 2850/2870 Cedarwood, in Herongate, where there is a density of ACORN members. On March 7, starting 9am on. The city, with ACORN, will publish reports of deficiencies and Orders to show the progress. We anticipate this program will take 6-8 months to complete in wards across the city.

For information or to speak to Ottawa ACORN members
in French or English, contact:
ACORN Canada
Jill O'Reilly
613-744-7228 or 613-808-6523