May 21, 2022

Doly Begum Releases Statement re; Property Ownership

NDP Candidate Doly Begum
Conservative Candidate Bret Snider
Liberal Candidate Lisa Patel

By John Smee

Perception, as the saying goes, is reality.

A story published May 18 claims that Scarborough Southwest Candidate Doly Begum’s “portfolio of four properties, which she shares with her extended family, rose $2.49 million since purchase to $4.41 million today.” The story goes on to say that “records show both Liberal and PC candidates running against Doly Begum in Scarborough Southwest appear to own homes worth in the neighbourhood of $2 million.  Bluffs Monitor is working to confirm these numbers and so far we have determined that, using the same app as in the CTV story … “according to Canadian app HouseSigma’s Home Valuation feature” Ms. Begums home is worth between 854,000 and   1,140,000. Mr Snider’s home is worth between 1.165,000 & 1,480,000. Full Disclosure, because Mr Snider has been a contributor to the Bluffs Monitor for the past 3 years I happen to know his home address. Ms Begum provided me with her home address.

Characterizing a principle residence as an “investment property”  would be be considered a leap of faith just a few years ago. Now for many homeowners in the GTA it has become the new reality in the current housing market.  However, for the purposes of the article, it is a bit of a stretch.

MPP Begum released the following statement to Bluffs Monitor;

“One of the errors in the said report is the fact that I do not own 4 investment properties. Yes, in total my family (including parents and sibling) together, own four properties, which we purchased as a family over the past 17 years, but all of them are not investment properties. Just to give you some perspective, one of the four properties is our first home, which is still occupied by my parents, was bought in 2005. This is the same home where my brother and I grew up. The home that my husband and I currently live in was purchased almost 9 years ago. So, what the article was not able to capture is the fact that all 4 of these homes are not investment properties, rather mostly occupied by the family members and have mortgages on them. Also, as per the report, the 4 homes costed a total of less than $2 million, which will also give you an idea about their value and time when they were bought. Yes, the current market value of these properties has increased in the past decade, but we never “flipped” them and they are in the same (1930s/2001) condition they were built.

Like many hard-working middle class families, my parents, my brother and I have worked really hard since my family migrated to Canada almost 23 years ago. Like many families living in Scarborough we have worked hard and saved as much as we can to have roof over our heads and safety in the future. Like any other families, we aspired to attain a certain level of financial security where our parents can have a safe income to pay their bills when they get old. I am proud that years of hard work of both my brother and I have allowed us to have our own homes to live in and my parents can have one home that can generate some rent to support them in their older years.

My parents taught me how to be happy with a simple and humble lifestyle. Below is a picture of my home where I live with my husband, which is also one of the 4 homes”.

Liberal candidate Lisa Patel reponded to the CTV article as follows…

“As has always been the case, all Liberal MPPs are required to meet the asset disclosure requirements set by the Integrity Commissioner’s Office and all Liberal MPPs are in compliance with these rules.

Our party released our plan that includes real relief for renters and a strong plan for addressing housing affordability across the province. Under the Ford Conservatives, Ontarians have faced double-digit increases to their rent – some even as high as 25 or 30 per cent. And under Doug Ford’s four housing plans, the average Ontario home price has passed $1M for the first time in Ontario’s history. In May 2018, Ford unequivocally promised that he wouldn’t take rent controls away – by November of 2018, rent control was stripped from all new units.

Ontario Liberals believe that increasing housing supply, protecting renters, and building affordable housing are key to creating a housing market that works for everyone.”