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Media release: Illegal evictions, dangerous repairs, and substandard living conditions on Nivens Ave. as tenants and ACORN fight back

Tenants living at the apartment complexes on Nivens Ave. in North Dartmouth are facing extreme neglect, harassment, and renoviction. 

For Release, July 13th, 2020. 

Contact Sydnee Blum for more information and to speak with tenants and ACORN spokespeople: halifax@acorncanada.org 

(Dartmouth, NS) The ACORN Tenants Union is fighting back against the dangerous living conditions in the apartment complexes on Nivens Ave. and Windmill Rd., owned by Mario and Tracey Morrison and managed by Harbour Mews. 

WHAT: ACORN Tenants Union Rally

WHEN: Tuesday, July 14th at 1PM

WHERE: 6 Nivens Ave. walking to Harbour Mews Office at 271 Windmill Ave. 

Tenants are living with mold, pests, broken glass in their apartments, locked fire escapes, massive repairs, leaking roofs, and MORE – when they request repairs, their landlords Mario and Tracey Morrison raise the rent and threaten to evict them. Families with young children are living in dangerous conditions because of the Morrisons’ – and their property management company, Harbour Mews’ – neglect. And when the city was called, no action was taken! 

We are demanding the city hold these landlords accountable with a rally and march from 6 Nivens Ave. to the property manager’s office on Windmill St., and an ongoing email campaign to the city and residential tenancies. 

ACORN member and tenant Jonethan Brigley explains, “Landlords need to be held accountable by the city or province when there’s evidence of by-law infractions. The city should get a log of all current public and private landlords within the province and, just like any other business, hold them to inspections and accountability when by-laws are broken. Restaurants, hotels, factories, they’re all given inspections and held to health and safety standards. Why are landlords being given special treatment?” 

Kim Rankin, an ACORN member and tenant at 6 Nivens, details the events leading up to this rally: “February 26th our building had been sold and by mid-March, we were given an unsigned notice with a new email to send our rent to. Naturally, tenants were skeptical, so we reached out to get answers from our property manager; both on where to pay the rent but also detailing the maintenance problems in the building. What followed was a series of threats and intimidation tactics that ended with us being served an illegal eviction notice and told we were first in line to 

Illegal Evictions, Dangerous Repairs, and Substandard Living Conditions on Nivens Ave. as tenants and ACORN fight back 

get evicted. We still didn’t receive maintenance. So, I called the city. After they were ordered to complete immediate repairs, I received a 45% rental increase in response to a maintenance request, while the repairs were not done. The city never followed up and nothing has been done about the health and safety issues in the building.” 

“What’s been happening is atrocious. I’ve never heard of one landlord violating so many sections of the tenancy act and city By-Laws in such a short period. One of the other buildings is so damaged there’s been a hole in the roof for months and they don’t even know who to call.” 

“I now know why they refused to give me contact information and tried to keep me quiet and bully me with a rental increase. Call me naive but I didn’t know conditions like the people I pass by in the parking lot live in existed in Canada. The biggest question is why is the government not stopping this from happening? If you wouldn’t want your children living in these situations then why should your community members’ children have to?” 

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For more details, tenant testimonials, and to speak with ACORN spokespeople contact Halifax organizer Sydnee Blum at halifax@acorncanada.org. 

“Nova Scotia ACORN is an independent organization and tenants union of low- and moderate-income people fighting for affordable housing, a living wage, and better communities across Nova Scotia.” 

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