Councillor Shelley Carroll

Find out the latest news and upcoming events in your neighborhood. Politics, news, views, and links from Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rooming House Issues Returning to Council

You may have read in the papers that a motion to re-look at the issue of Rooming House Licenses is returning to Council. In Affordable Housing committee this week, I took what I hope is a helpful step.

I moved that a report already being developed by staff on Rooming House Issues be further developed and then brought to the Affordable Housing Committee, but must be accompanied by comment from Licensing Staff, Building Standards Staff and the Fire department on illegal rooming houses.

To be crystal clear on the issue, I am not prepared to look at ANY expansion of legal licenses in ANY part of town until we have fully explored whether or not we can use the new City of Toronto Act to properly address illegal situations.

As many of you know from our community info night last fall, official staff have a great deal of difficulty entering unlicensed rooming houses. We have closed a number of unlicensed residences in Ward 33 but only through exhaustive investigations. Residents learned at our meeting last fall with MLS officer, Joe Lucci, that reporting an address for not adhering to outdoor property standards was the best way to get an investigation rolling. Residents have helped out with this and it has led to limited success.

Remember that this outdoor component is the heart of the Rooming House issue. You should expect that all of the homes on your street look basically the same, give or take a gardener in residence, and the homes should sound the same in the middle of the night, quiet. In areas where Rooming Houses are licensed, former Toronto, Etobicoke and York, this adherence to local street standards is required of legal rooming house operators and enforced.

I will not be voting to expand licenses into new areas of the City without the ability to curb illegal practices.