KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Early in July I did a story on how a huge rent increase pushes a single mom out of the neighborhood in Clayton Park that she and her kids really like.
Here is a bit of an update. The news isn’t good. At this point she has to move to either Dartmouth North or rural Nova Scotia in order for her to afford the rent. She is very unhappy about these choices.
While searching for housing she can afford anywhere else start at $800 a month.
Another problem she ran into is that she found a couple of more affordable places in the Chocolate Lake area. However, she found them on Kijiji, and the only way to contact those landlords was through email. It’s now a couple of weeks later and she never even heard back from them.
Anyway she was in contact with a landlord in Dartmouth North who said that they can take her right away. It is looking like she has no choice.
As you may remember from the earlier story, she has a teenage son. A family of another teen whom he is friends with offered to take him in so he will not have to change schools. However, she was told by her caseworker at Community Services that if she takes the family up on their offer, her shelter allowance will decrease to $570 from the current 620.
She told me she did apply for a place through the Metropolitan Housing Authority, but they told her there is a three year waiting list. She has to move in December 2019 at the latest.
The reasons as to why she is not looking forward to the possibility of moving to Dartmouth North is because she knows for her daughter’s stake it will not be good move. She said to me, “Kendall, wherever I move I am going to miss the family orientation of Clayton park where I currently live.”
She tells me that she wishes she could go back to work. “From what I am finding while searching for a new place to live, it seems to me that you got to have double the amount of what you currently receive on income assistance in order to afford rent these days,” she says.
She used to work at a bookstore, and even got promoted to manager, before she got sick and had to go on sick leave. Like me, she lives with OCD, also known as impulse control disorder. She cannot handle a lot of stress. Her doctor is recommending that if she returns to work, it only be light type of work, and with not a lot of hours involved.
As rents continue to increase everywhere, and social assistance rates aren’t even get close to keeping pace, you will hear more and more of these stories where people are forced out of their current apartments.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.
Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again. It’s free!