Herongate Legal Defence Fund

$16,238 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 246 people in 9 months
We need your help—we’re fighting an uphill battle and this is a critical moment for us.

In as little as 2 months, over 500 of our neighbours in Herongate will be facing eviction. We’re up against one of the country's largest corporate landlords, Timbercreeek Asset Management, who has filed notices to terminate the tenancy of tenants from approximately 150 three- and four-bedroom townhomes, on the grounds of demolition.

Background on Herongate

In 2012, Timbercreek purchased 23 hectares of private rental housing in Herongate—a working class neighbourhood in South Ottawa—becoming the owner of one of the largest, rental clusters in the country. The first round of evictions took place in the winter of 2016, when 80 units were demolished and families were torn from their homes, to make way for upscale “resort-style” apartments. In the Spring of this year, they informed the tenants of 150 homes they would be next. But this time, the neighbourhood organized.

Today, hundreds of working class tenants across Herongate have joined the coalition, including labourers, union members, homemakers, students, and children. We’re standing together, united. We’re fighting back. We’re defending our homes. We’re defending Herongate. As workers, we must have each other’s backs on the job; as tenants, we must have each other’s backs in our neighbourhoods.

What’s next?

Timbercreek has requested that tenants move out by September 30, 2018. But anytime before or after that date, the landlord has the option of filing for eviction at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This means, that as early as this fall we may find ourselves before the LTB with dozens upon dozens of high-stake eviction hearings that need to be fought—and won. There are also a number of other legal defence strategies that are being considered, depending on our financial capacity.

Our ask to you

In order to have the finances to support a fully operational legal team, the Herongate Legal Defence Fund must raise thousands of dollars in grassroots donations in the coming weeks. A financial gift of any amount is greatly appreciated, and will help us sustain our fight to defend Herongate.

From our neighbourhood to yours—thank you.

– – –

The Herongate Tenant Coalition is a working class tenant association that formed in the spring of 2018 to save their neighbourhood from one of the largest mass evictions in recent history. They were founded on a single message: “We are not moving.”

– – –
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October 2018 Update: A tremendous Thank You to all who have donated so far! An update is far overdue and we apologize for the tardiness—we've been swamped trying to keep up with everything in our neighbourhood, from dealing with a gas shutoff to asbestos signs on vacant houses clustered around occupied homes to a constant stream of Cease and Desist letters, we've sure had our hands full.

On top of all this, we've been working hard putting your donations to work on building a strong case to appeal to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. We are working closely with Professor David Wiseman's second-year Access to Justice law class at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law to put this case together.

Thanks to your donations, we've managed to obtain legal counsel for all the tenants affected by the evictions, Daniel Tucker-Simmons at Avant Law, who is also conducting research and seeking expert testimony, we've hired a law student as Case Manager through Avant Law who is helping enormously with the case, we're providing transportation for affected tenants to and from interviews, and we plan on pursuing action through the Landlord and Tenant Board as well, with a guarantee that all legal representation, administrative and filing fees will be covered even if tenants lose at the LTB.

Unfortunately, we have to also address the disappointments. Timbercreek forced each and every family out of the current eviction parcel. It is now a dead zone, suffocated of all the life that once flowed from the over 500 people who lived there. There are no more children laughing and playing in the laneways, no more wafts of spice in the air, no more neighbours sitting outside and sharing daily news.

Through our actions and organizing since May, we have had a few minor victories. The "moving incentive" offered by Timbercreek went from $1500 to $2000, a number of tenants were offered homes in Herongate (despite initially being told there was nothing available), and one large family was even given a three-bedroom after initially forced into taking a two-bedroom, but only once we pushed back.

We would not be able to do a fraction of what we're accomplishing without every form of support—kind words, prayers, bodies showing up to actions, printing, merch, benefit concerts, solidarity, media projects, and money. Our organizing has been collective from the beginning. We've only managed to get as far as we have because we've stuck together and fought together.

There are strong indications that Timbercreek plans to evict hundreds of more tenants from their Herongate property and demolish all the remaining townhouses. The fundraising doesn't stop now but must continue until all families are secure and the ongoing destruction of our neighbourhood is stopped once and for all.

Here's looking forward to a complete halt to further evictions and a successful Human Rights appeal! #DefendHerongate
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$16,238 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 246 people in 9 months
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