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Alderman says rent ceiling will become minimum boost

Toronto Star - December 6, 1975

The 8 per cent ceiling on rent increases to be set by proposed Ontario legislation will become a minimum level for increases, a Toronto alderman told a committee of MPPs yesterday.

As the committee wound up five days of public hearings on the rent-control bill and sent it to the Legislature for detailed scrutiny and final reading next week, Alderman Dorothy Thomas said landlords should be required to apply to a government board for any increase.

And she said the amount of any increase allowed should not exceed what a landlord needs to cover increased operaing expenses.

The government's bill "will ensure that rents will increase a minimum of 8 per cent," she said.

The government's proposed legislation would limit increases to 8 per cent retroactive to July 30, and would set up rent review boards to hear appeals from the application of the same 8 per cent ceiling for increase between January 1 and next August 1.

Mary Hogan of Parkdale Community Legal Services urged that rents be rolled back to the level of Jan. 1, 1974.

"We have seen many examples in the last two years of landlords charging exorbitant rents," she said. "To allow an 8 per cent increase on top of the gouging that has already gone on is no protection for tenants," she said.

The proposed legislation exempts public housing, apartments opened after Jan. 1, and luxury units renting for more than $500 a month.

Miss Hogan recommended that all apartments be included in the rent controls, but Michael Dennis, general manager of the city's Non-profit Housing Corp., said the city's projects whould be exempt.

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