Saturday, January 12, 2008

Residents Fight Parking Fee Hike

TCHC put on the defensive as community fights back against parking fee rip-off.

Since October 2007, TCHC and the City have been trying to unilaterally enforce their new parking regulations. In October and November TCHC held ‘consultations’ to ‘discuss’ their plans. These so-called ‘consultations’ ended up being a big sham with TCHC already decided on how they could steal yet more money from working people. The community had already dismissed these weak efforts disguised as ‘consultations,’ knowing that TCHC and the City did not have their interests in mind.
Instead, because of wider community pressure and because TCHC saw the community coming together to demand their rights at the November 21st meeting, they backed off of charging those with detached units $45/month for parking. They will still charge other tenants $45/month for parking as well as $5 a night for visitors. In addition, TCHC revealed that they will no longer allow school buses to be parked on TCHC property. They will only be allowed in school parking lots. The fact that many women in the community drive school buses and that schools are not in close proximity to all of the TCHC units in Lawrence Heights have raised great concern. If this is enforced, these women will have to wake up in the middle of the night in order to warm up their buses and pick up the children on time to go to school.
Residents were not satisfied with this weak attempt of TCHC to appease what they saw as a bunch of angry tenants. Contrary to this image, since November, residents and their supporters have been circulating a petition that calls for:
• unlimited visitor parking passes for all tenants,
• monthly rent to include parking as with other TCHC communities,
• 0% displacement of the community under whatever circumstances,
• TCHC to stop breaking the law and carry out repairs now,
• hydro to be included in the monthly rent.
Since the petition has been circulating, residents have researched the issue of parking in TCHC communities and have found out that there is a North York bylaw prohibiting apartment building owners from charging for visitor parking. Toronto’s Licensing and Standards Committee has informed Toronto Police Services that officers should not enforce paid-parking violations on apartment lots.
Join residents in their efforts to know and enforce their rights. Sign the petition when it comes to your door and tell your neighbours about it!