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For Immediate Release

Serious Housing Crisis in Area

Belleville and surrounding communities have recently had one of the highest rates of rent increases in Canada, at over 5% in 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. We are in the company of cities like Vancouver and Toronto when it comes to the number of households who cannot afford their housing.

The affordability crisis means moving is no longer an option for many tenants. There is just nowhere else to go.

“Historically, tenants could choose to move out if their landlord refused to deal with issues of serious disrepair” says Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC) lawyer, Samantha Hayward. “The affordability crisis means moving out is no longer an option for many of our tenants.” This means tenants stay in their current rental, even if it is in disrepair. Living in unsafe conditions impacts physical and emotional health, and this is an aspect of the affordable housing crisis that is not often considered.

On November 15, 2018 the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre will host “Disrepair Despair,” a half day workshop to explore common disrepair issues in rental units and the adverse impact of housing disrepair on the health of our most vulnerable community members.

Kathleen Cooper, an expert from the Canadian Environmental Law Association will discuss “RentSafe,” a provincial project to improve knowledge, capacity and responsiveness of communities to better address housing-related health risks facing tenants. Health care panelists will address key social determinants of health and link these to improved community health objectives. Local panelists from the Highland Shores Children’s Aid, City of Belleville and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will share their experiences and expertise. Learn about the costs that disrepair can have on health and healthcare. Workshop participants will contribute ideas for more effective ways to address this aspect of the affordable housing challenge in our community.

This event is free and will be held on Thursday, November 15, from 9:30 – noon at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health building, 179 North Park Street, Belleville. Refreshments will be provided. Register by calling 1 877-966-8686, extension 25.

The Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC) is a non-profit community legal clinic principally funded by Legal Aid Ontario. The clinic was founded in 1980 and provides poverty law services to low income residents of Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties. The clinic’s main office is in Belleville, with satellite locations in Trenton, Picton, Napanee, Amherstview, Bancroft and Madoc. For more information, visit CALC's website at www.communitylegalcentre.ca.

For further information about the contents of this press release, please call Michele Leering, Executive Director, at 613-966-8686, ext 27 or Toll Free at 1-877-966-8686, ext 27.

Community Advocacy & Legal Centre
158 George Street
Belleville, ON   K8N 3H2

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