More than 250 people took part in an online Halifax Housing Symposium Monday. The event was hosted by the Housing and Homelessness Partnership. Stephen Wentzell attended and heard from advocates and people directly affected by rising rents, evictions, the pandemic and skyrocketing homelessness.
The sale of the Bloomfield school site by the city more than anything means the loss of desperately needed affordable housing. A look at what could have been.
There is a severe housing crisis in Halifax and many other Nova Scotia towns. As in most any crisis, it’s painful for everybody, but the very poor, and especially also the racialized poor, are bearing the brunt. However, when you listen to Housing Nova Scotia senior bureaucrats at yesterday’s Community Services Standing Committee you do not get a sense of urgency.
More about widespread heating issues at Greystone Drive public housing units in Spryfield, and the Housing Authority’s apparent inability to fix it once and for all. “Maybe nobody cares because we are not as well off as everybody else. That’s almost how I feel,” one of the affected tenants says.
It took contractors working for the Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority 36 hours to restore heat in a 6-unit building in the Greystone Drive area in Spryfield. The Housing Authority blames the high winds of the January “weather bomb” for causing the furnace problems. Problem with that response is that it wasn’t windy when the furnace died.
The state of public housing in Nova Scotia at times is terrible. There is no other way to describe it. Last week I drove to Sheet Harbour and met Brent and Donna, very nice people who deserve better than having to call and call again for somebody to deal with a backed up septic tank, or to have mould simply spray painted over. We hear these stories a lot, and we go check them out when we can.
Check out Jodi Brown’s video for a glimpse into the horrible living conditions faced by two seniors both in their late sixties who live in a public housing unit in Halifax.
Barry Walters’ rent in a public housing apartment building for seniors went up from $285 per month when he first move in in late 2015, to a whopping $812 today. It”s all the Feds’ fault, says Housing Nova Scotia. Well, that’ doesn’t really help me, Walters says.
A 65-year old New Glasgow woman who suffers from severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities has been ordered to vacate the only house where she can live in relative safety. She has been unable to find an alternative that doesn’t put her health at risk, and desperately wants the Housing Authority to abandon its eviction notice.
Tenants of social housing in Spryfield and elsewhere are tired of waiting for repairs, and are resuming their countdown to a full blown rent strike. Liberal MLA Brendan Maguire is offering his full support to the group that issued the strike call.