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Housing fight goes to city hall

Toronto Sun - May 14, 1999
By Alan Findlay

Parkdale protesters, angry that cheap neighbourhood housing is being shut down by the city, took their beef to Mayor Mel Lastman's office yesterday.

The coalition of poverty and homelessness activists say that a policy of closing down illegal bachelorettes and rooming houses is pushing more people onto the streets.

The group of about 40 bused to city hall, marched to the mayor's office and chanted, "We want Lastman, we want Lastman."

The problem was, the mayor wasn't available, said assistant Sean Goetz-Gadon who came out of the locked office to accept the protesters' petition.

The city has shut down one Parkdale rooming house this year and obtained court orders to clear out three more.

In a letter from Lastman handed to the group, he denied the action was taken to attract wealthier tenants.

"The building was a firetrap," Lastman wrote.

Protesters argue the city should repair the properties and add the cost to the tax bill.

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