Landlord’s Self-Help Centre was founded in 1975 by Lita and Archie Wisman and initially operated under the name of Landlord Aid (commonly referred to as Landl’Aid).
The Wismans were small landlords who were unable to find affordable legal advice when they were faced with a troublesome tenant situation. They realized there was a need for a resource centre dedicated to assisting and supporting small landlords and founded Landlord Aid.
In the early days, LSHC was funded by a variety of short term grants and projects from various governmental levels and operated from the second floor of a house in a quiet Parkdale neighbourhood. There were often gaps of several months between grants when there was no funding at all. It was during these times that Mr. and Mrs. Wisman themselves funded the operation to keep the organization afloat.
In July 1977 Landl’Aid received interim funding from the former Ontario Legal Aid Plan as a community legal clinic. The clinic was mandated to provide information, referrals and assistance exclusively to small landlords. Legal Aid provided funding for operating costs and four staff positions.
The organization was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the name Landlord’s Self-Help Centre in August 1977. The three founding directors included Archie Wisman, Lita Wisman and Alex Alexander. Sadly, all three have since passed: Lita Wisman passed away in 1980; Alex Alexander in 1999; and Archie Wisman in 2003.
The demand for Landlord’s Self-Help Centre’s services has continued to grow over the years. These days, an annual average of 12,000 landlords receive information, advice or referrals from the staff while the web site receives an average of 680,000 visitors each year. The Board of Directors has expanded from the original three members to a ten member Board.
Landlord’s Self-Help Centre is currently located at 55 University Avenue, 15th Floor in Toronto.