Hamilton Community Legal Clinic

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic Call Us 905-527-4572 We're a non-profit community legal clinic serving low income residents of Hamilton. In addition, to providing ‘traditional” poverty law services including legal advice & referrals and legal representation, the Clinic is involved in public legal education, community development and law reform.
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Mission: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic is a community based not for profit agency whose diverse team of caring professionals and volunteers provides legal services to low income individuals and communities to promote access to justice and to improve quality of life. We do this through: summary advice and referral, representation, community development, law reform and public legal education Our Vision Hamilton Community Legal Clinic will be recognized and valued as an important provider of poverty law services and advocate for social change.

Operating as usual

The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC), Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team (HAMSMaRT) and Keeping Six (K6) issue...
12/18/2020
Joint Statement re: Hamilton City Council’s December 9, 2020 Meeting Of The General Issues Committee - Hamilton Community Legal Clinic

The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC), Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team (HAMSMaRT) and Keeping Six (K6) issue the following joint statement in response to Hamilton City Council’s December 9, 2020 meeting of the General Issues Committee, wherein an encampment update regarding expenses was on the agenda.

Read more here:

https://hamiltonjustice.ca/en/2020/12/18/joint-statement-re-hamilton-city-councils-december-9-2020-meeting-of-the-general-issues-committee/

JOINT STATEMENT The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC), Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team (HAMSMaRT) and Keeping Six (K6) issue the following

Please sign and share!
12/18/2020
OPEN LETTER/LETTRE OUVERT: Adding Anti-Racism to the Canada Health Act: The time is now/Ajouter la lutte contre le racisme à la Loi Canadienne sur la Santé : Le moment est présent

Please sign and share!

All submissions to this form will be appended into a table as signatures in the style of an open letter. Thank you for your support. Toutes les soumissions à ce formulaire seront annexées dans un tableau sous forme de signatures dans le style d’une lettre ouverte. Merci pour votre soutien.

" residential evictions of tenants “detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread” of COVID-19 and in...
12/18/2020

" residential evictions of tenants “detrimental to public health control measures to slow the
spread” of COVID-19 and instituted a nation-wide partial moratorium"

"...The consequences of making decisions at the LTB are serious for landlords, certainly, but can be life-altering and l...
12/16/2020
The Landlord and Tenant Board is in crisis - NOW Magazine

"...The consequences of making decisions at the LTB are serious for landlords, certainly, but can be life-altering and life-shattering for tenants. Eviction notices that aren’t served properly, having a bad phone connection or being unable to locate the mute button on Zoom – these are all things that can now be the difference between whether someone keeps their home or becomes homeless."...

https://nowtoronto.com/news/the-landlord-and-tenant-board-is-in-crisis

While it was by no means a perfect system before moving online, the LTB could at least be relied on to follow general principles of fairness

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo
12/16/2020

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo

"While the government works on a “feminist and intersectional” pandemic recovery plan, we must also reimagine what a soc...
12/14/2020
Opinion: Canada’s fiscal update may be feminist in its approach, but it’s not so intersectional

"While the government works on a “feminist and intersectional” pandemic recovery plan, we must also reimagine what a society founded on justice, equity and dignity should look like."

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-fiscal-update-may-be-feminist-in-its-approach-but-its-not/

Chrystia Freeland’s fall economic update reveals a government that could leave marginalized and racialized communities behind as it marches ahead in Canada’s pandemic recovery efforts

"This year, discussion about defunding the police has become part of the mainstream — a thought that had been unthinkabl...
12/11/2020
8 Canadian voices on what they mean when they say: ‘Defund the police’

"This year, discussion about defunding the police has become part of the mainstream — a thought that had been unthinkable for many. A summer of police violence against Black and Indigenous bodies, ballooning police budgets, increased demand on police to deal with health and social problems, and the militarization of police services and officers sworn to serve and protect citizens has brought the words “defund the police” to the tips of many tongues.

But what exactly should the phrase mean? Is it about taking work away from police, and redirecting the money elsewhere? Or could the project be more simple: abolition?

The Star spoke with eight important Canadian voices to discuss what the idea of defunding the police means to them. Their comments have been edited for length and clarity."

One of the rallying cries of 2020 has held different meanings for different people. The Star speaks with eight important Canadian voices on what the w...

" By the time Stephanie Cox (HCLC staff) turned to a Hamilton divisional court earlier this month to protect her client ...
12/11/2020
Advocates turn to courts to stop evictions amid growing distrust of Ontario tenancy tribunal

" By the time Stephanie Cox (HCLC staff) turned to a Hamilton divisional court earlier this month to protect her client from imminent eviction, she says she'd tried and failed 28 times to deliver a legal document to Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)."

Across the province, a growing distrust in the LTB’s processes means legal clinic lawyers are increasingly turning to the courts to handle urgent eviction matters amid a second wave of COVID-19 infections, according to multiple lawyers who spoke to Canada's National Observer.

"Armed with the auditor general’s critiques, the premier is moving fast to disarm the independent Social Benefits Tribun...
12/11/2020
Opinion | Doug Ford and Bonnie Lysyk team up to go after some of Ontario’s most vulnerable

"Armed with the auditor general’s critiques, the premier is moving fast to disarm the independent Social Benefits Tribunal. Restricting the right of appeal would reduce the number of applicants on the welfare rolls — allowing Ford’s Tories to lower costs without having to pay a political price for redesigning the program or redefining eligibility."

The premier has joined with the auditor general to target welfare spending, Martin Regg Cohn writes.

12/10/2020
Ask A lawyer Livestream

Ask A lawyer Livestream

Learn more about the rent freeze and your rights as a tenant! Feel free to ask your questions live!

A growing crisis!  We hope all levels of governments take steps to stop the pandemic of homelessness.
12/10/2020
The legislature has spoken. Will Doug Ford now ban COVID-19 evictions?

A growing crisis! We hope all levels of governments take steps to stop the pandemic of homelessness.

A last-minute verbal vote in favour of an NDP motion to ban evictions means Premier Doug Ford must decide whether to follow the Ontario legislature's instructions and halt eviction hearings ahead of the holiday season and until the pandemic has passed.

Please read and share: ALARMED FOR THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIAL BENEFITS TRIBUNAL AND APPEALS PROCESS! ..."The right to an a...
12/10/2020

Please read and share: ALARMED FOR THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIAL BENEFITS TRIBUNAL AND APPEALS PROCESS! ..."The right to an appeal process at the Tribunal is enshrined in legislation, and it is a vital one that needs to be preserved..."

12/06/2020
Today @ 2PM  hope to see you there
12/03/2020

Today @ 2PM hope to see you there

11/30/2020
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo
11/29/2020

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo

HCLC stands in Solidarity with housing advocates.  Read our statement below
11/26/2020

HCLC stands in Solidarity with housing advocates. Read our statement below

Food Chain Workers Alliance
11/25/2020

Food Chain Workers Alliance

On our last day of our #FoodWorkersRising days of action, we are sharing a call for solidarity with migrant farmworkers standing up for fairness and respect.

Martin’s Family Fruit Farm employs migrant farmworkers at their Ontario, Canada apple farm. In October, a COVID-19 outbreak struck Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. Dozens of workers contracted the virus.

As a result, workers engaged in a work refusal and ceased work until they had confirmation whether or not they were COVID positive. Rather than respect the health and well-being of the workers, the employer is alleged to have threatened the workers with disbarment from the program if they continued their acts of resistance.

Please join Justice for Migrant Workers, J4MW in demanding fairness and respect for the workers who put food on our table. They are asking Martin’s Family Fruit Farm to commit to no reprisals against its workforce and to implement immediate steps to provide strong health and safety protections and adequate housing accommodations to prevent further outbreaks.

Martin's Family Fruit Farm Apple Chips are sold at Starbucks stores. Today, supporters will be organizing solidarity actions at over 19 Starbucks stores in Canada and the US.

Please join us in sending a message to Starbucks asking them to support farmworkers' rights to work in an environment that is free from harassment and that is safe and dignified and to call on Martin’s Family Fruit Farm to commit to the above steps.

TAKE A PHOTO OUTSIDE STARBUCKS TODAY. Hold up a sign with your solidarity message and post on social media using #Justice4AppleWorkers.

CLICK HERE TO SEND A TWEET AMPLIFYING WORKERS DEMANDS https://ctt.ac/tDA2a

Thank you so much for your solidarity with food workers today and during the entire week of action!

FYI
11/25/2020
Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

FYI

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) is Canada’s largest coalition of self-organized groups of migrant workers, with the support of grassroots organizations, unions, faith groups, activists and researchers that have come together to fight for justice and dignity for migrant workers.

Ontario lawyers claim Landlord and Tenant Board mismanagement may cause housing crisis - The Lawyer's Daily
11/24/2020
Ontario lawyers claim Landlord and Tenant Board mismanagement may cause housing crisis - The Lawyer's Daily

Ontario lawyers claim Landlord and Tenant Board mismanagement may cause housing crisis - The Lawyer's Daily

Legal aid lawyers from across Ontario claim that the provincial government’s mismanagement of the Landlord and Tenant Board could cause a COVID-19 housing crisis, as the board rushes to clear a huge backlog of cases using remote technology that many low-income tenants cannot access.

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo
11/22/2020

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic's cover photo

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
11/21/2020

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

At least 125 migrant workers are infected with #COVID19 in Ontario right now!

They are jointly releasing this statement.

Please share and tell PM @JustinTrudeau to ensure #StatusforAll so migrants can protect themselves & to stop the deaths: https://migrantrights.ca/status-for-all/

Please read and share HCLC's position on LRT's displacement of vulnerable tenantsNovember 19, 2020 VIA EMAILMr. Mayor Fr...
11/20/2020

Please read and share HCLC's position on LRT's displacement of vulnerable tenants

November 19, 2020 VIA EMAIL
Mr. Mayor Fred Eisenberger, c/o Chief Staff Person
[email protected]

Mr. Paul Johnson, General Manager Healthy and Safe Communities
[email protected]

Ms. Janette Smith, City Manager
[email protected]

To Whom It Concerns,

RE: Metrolinx Owned Properties and the Prioritization of Affordable Housing

As you know, the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic provides services to the most marginalized members of the Hamilton community as we advance legal rights within a context of intersecting social issues to ensure individuals’ basic needs are met.

Our role offers us a concrete window of exposure to the implications of the housing crisis facing the country, province and our locality. Reoccurring concerns are both immediate and long term: the first being the urgency of the immediate need for adequate affordable housing and the future concern of how policies today fuel or ameliorate the future housing stock. We are alarmed about the fate of the Metrolinx owned properties. We call on the City to leverage this opportunity to guarantee that these properties be utilized for affordable housing.

Based on compiled evidence we share with you, the LRT land procurement process has increased the displacement of low income households, the members of which are unable to afford the market they find themselves in, deepening the City’s current housing crisis. Respectfully we take the position that the City has a fiduciary duty to replace the housing that was lost and utilize the current economies of scale that weigh in favour of leveraging a provincial entity to provide this affordable land to the community rather than to the highest bidder. The City has routinely identified the difficulty in financing affordable land for housing development and this seems to be a perfect opportunity to address it.

A Community Legal Clinic Funded by Legal Aid Ontario
Une clinique juridique communautaire financée par Aide juridique Ontario

The managers of the LRT landlord procurement process have removed 178 mostly rental dwellings along the then anticipated rail corridor which IBI Group consultants working with HDR Decision Economics determined to be an area with the highest social needs (“Economic Potential Study,” of the Hamilton Rapid Transit Initiative, March 2009). The chart below produced by the report speaks to this:

Indicator Corridor Hamilton GTHA Ontario Canada
Government Transfers as a proportion of total income 20.60% 12.90% 9.30% 9.80% 11.10%
Population over 65 14.80% 14.20% 12.20% 13.60% 13.70%
Lone parents 23.60% 14.70% 14.20% 15.80% 15.90%
No high school certificate or diploma 38.50% 28.70% 24.10% 22.20% 25.50%
Low income 35.60% 16.20% 12.40% 14.70% 15.30%
Unemployment rate 10.40% 5.80% 5.20% 6.40% 6.60%

Based on this study it is evident that the most in need have been asked to bear the brunt of this development without the necessary resources to survive in the current market.

As you are aware rents in Hamilton increased by 24% in 2020 (source: https://globalnews.ca/news/6169777/hamilton-rent-spikes). Based on the rental rates we can estimate that a tenant displaced by Metrolinx who had lived in their King Street home for 1 year faced a $379.00 plus monthly rent increase (rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Hamilton in 2019 was $1,537/month, up from $1,158/month in 2018). For a tenant displaced by Metrolinx who had lived their King Street home for 5 years prior to displacement, their increased rent is estimated at $588.00/month, and for a tenant who had lived in their King Street home for 10 years, that increase is estimated at
$706.00/month. Given that income replacement benefits have not increased commensurate with these shelter costs and neither have wages, many of these displaced tenants are undoubtedly living in housing insecurity.

To make matters worse, the pandemic has exposed social inequities and compounded the housing crisis; it has been reported that 60,000 Hamilton household renters have lost their jobs or income. With CERB rates at $2000.00 a month, average rents in Hamilton reported at $1,489.00 a month and a vacancy rate of 1.5%, the pressure for purpose built housing is even greater.

Our staff receive an average of 85 calls a day with the majority of them concerning rental housing concerns. We have witnessed an increase in evictions based on arrears of rent attributed to the pandemic and are saddened by the mass evictions.

Housing is a human right and it is the linchpin social determinant of health. Our community cannot afford to lose any housing stock, let alone affordable housing options.

We urge the City to explore the following:

1. Demand the gifting of Metrolinx land to the City for affordable housing;
2. Demand an offer of first refusal;
3. Provide rent supplements immediately to the households displaced and facing housing insecurity;
4. Offer displaced households priority on the housing waitlist and/or an offer of first refusal to any newly constructed affordable housing units; and
5. Consider adopting inclusionary zoning and require that no less than 75% of development along this corridor be deemed “affordable.”

It is our recommendation and hope that the stakeholders and the community at large be consulted on the fate of this project and that affordable housing is guaranteed by any outcome. Decisions related to this project are determinative of the social fabric of Hamilton and will inevitably impact the state of housing in Hamilton.

Thank you for your support of affordable housing in Hamilton. Sincerely,


Hugh Tye Executive Director

Address

100 Main St E Suite 203
Hamilton, ON
L8N 3W4

General information

Board of Directors Board members share the goals of the clinic in serving the diverse legal needs of low income Hamiltonians. The Board is responsible to the community for the services provided by the clinic. The Board is also responsible to Legal Aid Ontario for the use of funding dollars. Clinic Staff Our clinic is staffed by lawyers, community legal workers, support staff, community development workers and volunteers. The Executive Director is Hugh Tye.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 15:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 15:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 12:00
Thursday 08:30 - 15:30
Friday 08:30 - 15:30

Telephone

905-527-4572

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Comments

Social Assistance cheques are out. I'm not aware that $100 Covid19 payment has ended. Anyone else not receive it? I just moved to healtbier and safe housing and was greatly depending upon the extra help.
How is it legal for the government to deduct the gross amount of cerb off of odsp when we have to pay the taxes off it too? They are effectively taking the money twice?
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic Landmark Place 100 Main St E (Corner of Main and Catharine) Suite 203 (2nd Floor) Hamilton, ON L8N 3W4 Tel: 905-527-4572 "PERSON ON ODSP"..... THAT OWNS A HOUSE THEY WILL NOT HELP YOU THAT DOES NOT SEEM RIGHT AT ALL
Being eco friendly, and green it's nothing new to the people living of this lands with their ancestral knowledge, we should recognize the importance of indigenous culture in our efforts to clean energy
They need to improve on their knowledge base and stop giving incorrect information to clients.If you are not 100 percent sure of the answer just say so I will undertake a position that if anyone in need needs information (correct) I will definitely steer them away from this clinic.They have to realize that indigent and uninformed people are using their service and if relied upon, could have devastating consequences.I feel sad for those ones.
Hello ODSP and low income, its special for your pets !! 20 % off on visit and services. FREE exam on Fridays. FREE Heartworm test on Thursdays...............….use the offer. New location having veterinary services such as exam, vaccination, deworming, de-flea, preventives, spay & neuter, x-ray, food and all services related to animal hospital. Discount rates for low income families, ODSP and seniors. Rescue groups welcome. Opened in 2018. Contact 905 385 1999 or 905 389 0707 (our old location)
hi Maria it's me the cheap mouse didn't work, went to Staples and now it works fine and bought a better mouse
Legal Services available in the GTA and surrounding area, these services include Family law support including drafting all documents, filing with the court and serving them, writing scripts and arranging accessibility accommodations for the self represented litigant, small claims court, personal injury, Wrongful termination, workplace Safety and Insurance Board claims, LTD & STD claims, CPP disability claims, Landlord & tenant , Provincial offences and administrative law. Website: Http://www.lambelaw.ca