Halifax Today: 'Grim' outlook for renters says new survey

Posted April 29, 2020

With May 1st almost upon us, many renters are anxious about their ability to pay their rent.
That’s according to a survey out today from ACORN Canada.
The COVID-19 State of Renters survey had over 1,100 respondents from across Canada found that 35 percent of people will not be able to pay rent on May 1st.
The survey shows many have been left out when it comes to financial assistance from the federal government, with 70 percent of people feeling the financial impact of the pandemic, but only 42 percent qualifying for CERB or EI.
Fred Barnes is with ACORN Nova Scotia, and he tells The Sheldon MacLeod Show COVID-19 is doing more than just impacting their ability to pay.
“People are also worried about cleanliness and maintenance in their buildings. A lot of high traffic areas like elevators and lobbies aren’t getting cleaned and some people are stuck in isolation, with major repairs,” says Barnes. 
The survey also reports 15 percent have been threatened with eviction and the group says it’s time for the provincial government to “get serious” and not leave tenants on their own to negotiate with their landlords. 
“Then they’ll be out on the streets, and that’s going to make them a lot more vulnerable to the pandemic that’s going around right now,” says Barnes. 
ACORN Canada is asking the feds and province for a break on rent with no tenant paying more than 30 percent of their income, a rent freeze, and rent controls now, and after COVID-19. 
Here in Nova Scotia, ACORN is specifically asking for a full ban on evictions during the state of emergency, and for housing to be provided to homeless people at hotels or motels.
Article by Matt Brand for Halifax Today


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