The provincial election is less than a month away and a Kitchener family says they want to hear more about rent policies from their candidates.

John Gulley lives in the Williamsburg neighborhood in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding.

He said he’s moving next month because the owner of his rental is selling, and his new place will cost him $1,000 more a month

Gulley and his wife were keeping an eye on the market for months and had a hard time finding something affordable.

“Way out of our reach, they’re in the $2,800 to $3,200 range,” he said. “This is getting completely out of hand, especially with inflation the way it is now too.”

Gulley thinks the candidates in his riding need to step up to the plate and lobby to help renters.

NDP candidate Karen Meissner said her platform aims to bring back rent control and stop rent evictions.

“We want to end the vacancy of control, which is when landlords hike the price significantly between tenants,” she said.

Meissner called rent a ‘human right’ and added that even middle to lower class residents are struggling in the region.

“We also have a plan to help renters who find themselves needing a little bit of extra financial support through a really strong portable housing benefits plan,” she said.

Liberal candidate Melanie Van Alphen also wants to bring back rent control. She was not available for an interview but sent CTV News a statement saying, in part: “An Ontario Liberal government will bring back rent control to all rental homes across Ontario and ensure all renters have smaller, more predictable rent increases. We will also provide renters with a path to ownership and create a legal framework that protects renters to opt into rent-to-own agreements.”

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PC candidate Mike Harris is looking for a second term and is pushing for more affordable housing. He told CTV News in a statement: “This plan would see up to 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years. This approach is working, our housing supply plan helped in over 100,000 new construction starts, the highest in more than 30 years. It has also helped build thousands of purpose-built rental units in the last year alone.”

CTV News reached out to the other candidates but did not hear back by our deadline.

Gulley said his vote will go to the candidate who puts the needs of renters first.


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