Tenants and allied community members are gathering in front of the NS Legislature in an all-day occupation to demand permanent rent control and immediate action on the housing crisis.
(Halifax, NS) Since our new government has made it clear that they are not interested in protecting tenants from unreasonable rent increases past the state of emergency, the ACORN Tenant Union is rallying to demand the government enact permanent rent control.
WHAT: Keep the Rent Cap!
WHEN: Thursday, September 23rd from 10am – ALL DAY
WHERE: Nova Scotia Legislature – 1726 Hollis St. Halifax, NS
Since the temporary rent cap was put in place, ACORN has been hearing stories and receiving rent increases from tenants whose landlords intend to raise rents after the cap lifts. “What we’re seeing is rent increases where the landlord says ‘Your rent is going up by the legal 2%, unless the state of emergency lifts in which case it will go up $100-$1000,” says Halifax-Peninsula Chair Hannah Wood. “We’ve seen rent increases like these for as much as $2000.”
Even though these rent increases are illegal, they have become common since the government made it clear they don’t intend to prosecute landlords who violate the 2% rent cap.
Marjike Grijm, Chair of the Dartmouth chapter of ACORN, writes: “This isn’t just an issue with the downtown core, people are even getting priced out of traditionally affordable neighbourhoods like Highfield, where a one bedroom apartment can go for as much as $1200 these days.” She disputes claims that the housing crisis was caused by the pandemic, “We were in a crisis before COVID. Cost of living keeps skyrocketing, rents are skyrocketing, but our wages stay the same. Developments that go up in this city aren’t affordable units, and landlords bring up the rent knowing full well that tenants have no other option but to pay. If we don’t fight to keep a rent cap in place, tenants are going to keep getting priced out of the city and the province.”
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Nova Scotia ACORN is an organization of low- and moderate-income people and the largest tenant union in the province, fighting for affordable housing, a living wage, and better communities across Nova Scotia.