We're Stronger When We're Organized

Hamilton Tenant: Volume 01, Issue 02

It’s a scary time to be a tenant in Hamilton. Our rents are going up at a much faster rate than our wages. Every month, apartments get more unaffordable. Thousands of working-class people are just an eviction away from being homeless. For landlords, this is not a problem. It’s an opportunity. Rich investors from Toronto are buying up properties in this city. If they can rid of long-standing tenants, they can flip our units and double the rent. Slumlords can ignore necessary repairs, making a bet that their tenants will be too scared to complain. This is a serious problem facing many elderly tenants, those with disabilities, and others on fixed incomes.

It’s often said that there is strength in numbers. This is true, but it isn’t just our numbers that give us strength. If that were the case, we would just all sign a petition asking for lower rents. As tenants, our true strength comes when we get organized.

Working-class people have many skills. Some of us are good at talking to our neighbours. Some of us are good at research. Some of us have skills we’ve learned at work. When we pool these skills and work together, we can accomplish big things. But first we need to come to a common understanding. We need to realize that we face similar problems. Once we do that, we can begin to work out solutions together.

Nobody is going to solve our problems for us. Not politicians, not social agencies, and definitely not landlords. There’s no way around it. Tenants in this city need to get organized. If you want support, get in touch.