CANADA: Ontario Landlord Lists Tent Space In Private Homeless Encampment For $500 Rent

Natasha Biase

A rental listing in Ontario is raising eyebrows for offering a for-profit homeless tent encampment area for $500 per person. The ad, shared on Canadian classified site Kijiji, invited “tenants” wishing to live in a tent to set up camp on the Innisfil-area property.

While the encampment listing has been deleted following backlash, The Publica reviewed a copy of the page while it was still live and archived it.

“We are welcoming people who are living in their tents … to set up on our cottage property in the town of Innisfil Ontario. [It is] private property,” read the for-profit encampment listing, which appears to have been posted by a woman named Amparo Araneta.

Although it does not specify if the $500 rate is a one-time fee or a monthly rent, the listing notes that access to the space comes with a shared kitchen and access to electricity. It also notes the property is near good amenities and job opportunities, and is within walking distance to the beach.

In addition to requiring respondents to provide their full name, email address, cell phone number, and city of origin, the landlords also require future tenants to be receiving Ontario Works Welfare, which provides residents in need with financial assistance for food, housing, and health benefits.

“Happy New Year—live the off-grid cottage life in the beautiful town of Innisfil. (Don’t worry, there’s still electricity),” concludes the listing description.

Araneta, the landlord of the property, also refers to herself as the “Asian Goddess of Beauty and Wellness” on social media, and has a rather strange digital footprint. On her YouTube, she describes herself as an “Entrepreneur, Eco Design & Homebuilder, Humanitarian, and Promotional & Consultant/Mentor.”

On her LinkedIn, Amparo says she is the operator of a “tiny sanctuary,” claiming she “rescued and rescue women in need” and has “dedicated my cottage to women displaced homeless.” 

News of the listing shocked many on social media, who believed the listing was a testament to the current housing crisis in Canada.

“This week in the housing crisis: “for-profit homeless encampment” is a phrase I just read,” wrote TVO writer John Michael McGrath.

“Can’t wait to be priced out of a for-profit homeless encampment,” one X user sarcastically responded to the news.

Others expressed their disbelief that the landlords would be naive enough to let homeless people live on their property.

“The joke will be on the landlord when they find $500 won’t cover the cost of drug addicts trashing your property and using your utilities.”

According to InnisfilToday, Progressive Conservative Party MPP for Barrie-Innisfil Andrea Khanjin reportedly directed people seeking shelter to the for-profit homeless encampment before the listing was removed.

Although Khanjin – who serves as Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks – denied accusations that she knew calls to her office were directed to the cottage property, Ministry Press Secretary Alex Catherwood said in a statement that “any referrals of people looking for housing to this individual were made in error and without the member’s knowledge.”

Catherwood continued: This should not have happened, and appropriate measures will be put in place to ensure this does not happen again.”

Khanjin also commenting on the incident, noting that she was looking into why her team had been referring people to Amparo’s listing.

“We’re looking into it. I was not aware the team was referring people to (this) establishment. We’re changing practices in the office so that doesn’t happen anymore,” explained Khanjin, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

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