Posted on November 19, 2021
A survey of over 160 members of New Brunswick’s tenant community found that many renters are feeling insecure in their living situations.
Spokesperson for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now Peter Jongeneelen says this poll found tenants are feeling intimidated by landlords, because there is no rent control.
“We have put together a report that uncovered the real issues that are facing New Brunswick tenants. What we found is basically that a lot of tenants are living in very precarious situation. We had 169 completed surveys. We found in the survey that 81.4 per cent of people that were tenants in New Brunswick have moved at least once in the past five years. 20 per cent of the survey respondents says they moved at least three to four times in the past five years. Tenants feel intimidated and that rent control is not there. It is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is a problem that is leading to a homeless crisis, and it is leading people in some very precarious situations. There are no tenants rights. ACORN would like to see a rewrite of the residential tenancies act. The legislation that the government introduced falls short of any kind of tenant protection.”
He says many have no choice but to leave, because of skyrocketing rent prices, and bad living conditions.
Forty-three per cent of those polled said they fear being evicted if they ask their landlord to do repairs.
Twenty per cent claim they have been harassed by their landlord.
Jongeneelen says the pandemic has made this issue worse.
There are three basic things people need. Food shelter and clothing. If the shelter isn’t there, that is leading to homelessness. That leads to mental health issues, the demand on food kitchens is getting worse.”
A renter we spoke to fears eviction in the winter months, with no place to go.
Chris, who asked to only be identified by her first name, lives in a Moncton apartment building.
She says she is supporting her fiancé who is disabled and her two children, “We had a recent rent increase due to a change in landlord and there is also some pest issues in my building, and issues getting some minor renovations done.”
Chris says her rent increased almost $300, and she now has to pay her hydro on top of that.
She’d like to see caps on rent control, and eviction protection, “We don’t want to be kicked out in the middle of winter and not know where to go. It’s still a hard time to get anything that can be affordable.”
Article by Tara Clow for 91.9 The Bend