With affordable housing at such a premium everywhere in Nova Scotia people are pointing at vacant lots and empty buildings in towns and cities all across Nova Scotia and wondering why we can’t do better. Now there is a mapping application, This should be housing, that exposes the extent of these opportunities.
We featured Brent and Donna, the Sheet Harbour couple on income assistance, in an earlier story about the terrible state of disrepair of their public housing unit. Community Services used to pay their entire power bill, but last week they contacted me because all of a sudden they are saddled with a $60 monthly share. They don’t know why, and they don’t know how they are going to deal with it.
The Canada Mortage and Housing Corp. published its annual rent survey, and the news for Nova Scotia and Halifax renters isn’t very good. Rents went up, vacancy rates went down. In Halifax vacancy rates haven’t been as low since 2003.
Lots of rented homes and apartments in Nova Scotia need major repairs. That’s what occupants of these homes told Statistics Canada. We have the numbers and we have the maps.
Lot of rent-poor people in Nova Scotia. 24,000 Nova Scotians, or one in five people who rent, spend more than 50 percent of their annual income on rent. New data released by Statistics Canada tells the story. Also, a neat app that lets you put it all on the map.
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.
I couldn’t attend last week’s Nova Scotia ACORN community meeting, but the results of their tenants survey presents some interesting (and rather shocking) findings. From cold-only showers to garbage in the common areas, from too cold in winter to too hot in summer, here are the reasons why we need landlord licensing.
Issues around affordable housing in rural Nova Scotia are not the same as those in Halifax or even Sydney. Rural housing advocates from across Nova Scotia are getting together this month to exchange ideas and hopefully lay the foundation for a more coordinated approach to advocacy in the future.