Residential eviction ban confirmed to be coming for Ontario tenants
Tenants and advocates have been anxiously awaiting information on the province's plan to introduce a moratorium on residential evictions as mentioned by Premier Doug Ford Tuesday, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark has since confirmed that the ban is in fact coming.
Speaking to reporters at the city's press conference this afternoon, Toronto Mayor John Tory thanked Clark for confirming that residential evictions in Ontario will soon be temporarily halted with an emergency order.
"I also want to thank Minister Steve Clark for stating clearly last night that the province will be freezing residential evictions with an emergency order," the mayor said. "This, too, is the right thing to do for tenants in the province of Ontario."
As stated by the Premier earlier today, the government will be freezing residential evictions during the state of emergency.— Steve Clark (@SteveClarkPC) January 12, 2021
We will issue an emergency order, and have more to say soon.
Tenants and advocates have long been calling on the province and the city to reinstate the residential eviction ban for the duration of the pandemic and to provide rent forgiveness for all those who've fallen behind on payments as a result of COVID-19, and Ford finally hinted that the measure would be coming when announcing a list of new restrictions yesterday.
"We're also suspending the enforcement of residential evictions so people can stay home safely," he said during a press briefing, without providing any details on how or when this would come into effect.
Following the press conference, the province issued a news release outlining all of the new restrictions for Ontario, and it provides few details about the measure but indicates that the government will provide more information in next few days.
"The government knows that in order to keep Ontarians safe, it is important that they are not forced to leave their homes during the new state of emergency," reads the release.
"Ontario is exploring all options available to put a temporary residential evictions moratorium in place, and will have more to say in the coming days."
The province later added a more detailed paragraph to the news release which stated that Tribunals Ontario would not issue any new eviction orders until further notice, and that sherrif's offices had been asked to postpone any scheduled enforcement of eviction notices.
But that statement was quickly retracted and provincial officials admitted it was made in error.
Earlier today @fordnation added this para to its #COVID19 news release only to retract it, admitting it was added in error.— Cole Webber (@colefwebber) January 12, 2021
Tomorrow tenants will be evicted in online hearings and removed from their homes by sheriffs.
Why aren't these tenants being granted relief from eviction? pic.twitter.com/gqvuwEacfm
As a result, online eviction hearings at the Landlord Tenant Board continue today despite Ford's promise.
Tenants are being evicted TODAY in dozens of online eviction hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board.— Cole Webber (@colefwebber) January 13, 2021
Despite yesterday's announcement, the government has not banned evictions. #ontariolockdown pic.twitter.com/5AId3cQgpR
Adam Wilson, spokesperson for Clark, told The Toronto Star that official details about the eviction ban will be released by the end of the week.
But just like with every other part of the province's most recent announcement, people have questions, and many have also said an eviction moratorium means little unless accompanied by rent relief and legislated paid sick leave.
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