Building Contacts are renters in the community who’ve agreed to volunteer as a bridge between the Union and the other renters in their building. Much like a “shop steward” in a labour union, they look out for their neighbours and keep the Union informed about issues facing the building so we can provide support. Likewise, the Union keeps them informed about news at the municipal or provincial level which impacts renters so they can pass it along to their neighbours.
Building Contacts also serve as key links in a chain of mutual support and skill sharing. Landlords have the financial means to hire lawyers and experts to make their cases; tenants don’t. But among all the diverse renters in our city we find lawyers, social workers, accountants, tradespeople of all stripes–many of whom are more than willing to help their fellow renters in a crisis. When renters in one building find themselves in need of support, they can reach out through the network of building contacts to find just what they need, whether that be an expert witness for a legal case or a consult for DIY repairs that their landlord has neglected.
Building Contacts are also community builders who understand that a strong union is a well connected union, and the more your neighbours know each other the safer they are. Building Contacts can call on support from the Union to host social events or start small projects in their buildings that get their neighbours connected, informed and working together.
Building Contacts also understand that information is power, and as such the Union provides free workshops in tenancy law and advocacy so they can become local experts in rental issues for their building. Trained Building Contacts receive a “Tenants Rights” package which includes resource lists and "How-To's" for common tenancy issues they can consult anytime they hear about other tenants facing issues in their building.
If you’re interested in volunteering as a Building Contact or want to speak to a volunteer to learn more, click the link below to submit an application and one of our volunteers will reach out as soon as they’re able.
Once we’ve answered your questions, we can arrange a small meet up with you and one of our organisers to get you set up and registered.
Our Building Contact Registry is private. Only a small group of core organisers have access to the building contact list and we do NOT give out contact information without that person’s expressed permission. It is up to each Building Contact to decide how public their involvement is. It is perfectly acceptable to keep your role with the Union discreet. Your safety and privacy always comes first.