Sunday, 24 February 2008

Illegal rooming houses taking root in suburbs.

This is from the Toronto Star and you can read the whole article here.

Suburban house split up into 18 bedrooms

Landlords of illegal rooming homes preying on tenants desperate for affordable housing
Feb 04, 2008 04:30 AM
Donovan Vincent
city hall bureau


Lushan Lu's home renovation project doesn't involve installing new hardwood floors, or fancy new faucets for a bathroom.

A few years ago he subdivided his large Scarborough home into an illegal rooming house, creating 18 bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

Now he's returning it to its original form.

That comes after he pleaded guilty in court this summer to city zoning bylaw infractions. He and co-owner Zhuan "May" Wang were each fined $5,000.

Tenants in the home on New Forest Square, in the Kennedy Rd. and Steeles Ave. E. area, were paying$400 a month rent.

[...]

The other, Run Ying "Lucy" Wang, was fined $72,000 for zoning violations relating to two homes in her name on nearby Shepton Way.

The cases reveal the suburban spin on what is often seen as a downtown problem.

And city officials say there are hundreds of illegal rooming houses run by landlords exploiting people desperate for affordable housing.


I was thinking of titling this post "Third World slums coming to a Canadian neighbourhood near you" but I think that is a little too soon.

Should I also be surprised that those convicted were Asian?

In any event who do think is most likely to be desperate for affordable housing? I think these illegal rooming houses are here to stay and don't be shocked when you find one in your neighbourhood some time soon. As long as we continue to cram people into Toronto without regard for the consequences then this overpopulation of Toronto will only create greater demand for these operations and I can assure you there are more than enough unscrupulous types ready to exploit the situation.

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