New community association to focus on needs of tenants

By Manor Park Chronicle

New Manor Park community association focused on local renters and tenants
New Manor Park community association focused on local renters and tenants. For now, the focus is on tenants at Manor Park Estates. Photo: Manor Park Chronicle

This article is by Ayse Comeau, co-founder of the Manor Park Tenant Union.

After unsuccessful attempts to make our local community association listen to tenant concerns during the year we volunteered with the development committee, my husband André and I started talking to our neighbours about the need to have a group that focuses on tenants’ concerns and needs.

People were interested and supportive. As it is with any community association, the Manor Park Tenant Union (MPTU) is starting slowly and informally.

Our observation is that tenants seem to feel the existing neighbourhood associations and councillor office meetings are only for homeowners and their specific concerns, and that tenants don’t have a voice in these meetings, we want to be the missing voice! Next, we put a name to the association and created a Facebook page to spread the word and provide contact information.

We then recruited our first volunteer. Ricardo Tranjan is not a tenant but what people now call “Yes in My Backyard Homeowners”. He is great addition to our team as he is an expert political economist focusing on affordable housing, an author on the subject and often talks to the media about these issues.

We are constantly in touch with our counterparts at other tenant unions such as Heron Gate, a couple of Toronto organizations, and the Vancouver Tenant Union.

Our group is unique in that we have a good relationship with our landlord, and we really want to keep it that way. With that said, those unions have a lot of experience in how to get people organized. The same is true for the councillor’s office.

We want a seat at the table, which we don’t think we had before, but we want to be constructive and help get things done.

Our most important goal is to inform all tenants of what is being offered to them and to make them aware of the fact that we are here to represent what is important to them.

For now, our focus is Manor Park Estates (MPE), but we are open to all tenants in Manor Park. If homeowners want to volunteer, we won’t say no.

Both Ricardo and myself volunteer with the Community Benefits Agreement Working Group for the redevelopment of MPE that is being facilitated by Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. King’s office.

Our first tenants-only meeting took place Sunday November 13 at 1805 Gaspé. We were thrilled by the turn-out and to meet so many of our neighbours in person to inform them of our process and listen to their needs over some coffee and snacks.

We would love to hear from more of you!

Follow us on Facebook @Manor Park Tenant Union