Posted on Dec 5, 2020
For months together, NS ACORN members have been organizing tirelessly for rent control. The good news finally came when the province finally announced a temporary 2% cap on rent increases through February 2022 or the end of the state of emergency, as well as a temporary ban on renovictions.
We would not have seen any movement on rent control if it were not for the tireless work of our members, tenants across Nova Scotia, and activists who have been fighting for our communities for years – organizing works!
A cap on rent increases is an overdue first step, but we need to hold the Province accountable in the long-term. Temporary rent control is meaningless if landlords can continue to raise rents and drive tenants from their homes once the pandemic is over. We need to see rent debt forgiveness, grants to those who are still struggling to make ends meet, and full, long-term rent control. Anything less is a band aid solution.
Similarly, a ban on evictions due to renovations is crucial, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough in preventing the majority of evictions. Most renters are evicted due to rent debt and arrears, and the Province needs to show a commitment to banning all evictions during the pandemic. There also need to be supports in place, like those mentioned above, so when the ban lifts there isn’t a wave of evictions like we saw in August.
Finally, the number of people living on the streets since last year has doubled. The Province needs to open up hotels and motels to people who are precariously housed so that they can safely isolate and stay warm.
We recognize that this was an extremely hard fought victory, and we’ll keep up the fight until we ensure every person in Nova Scotia has a roof over their heads.
The Signal: Tenants rally for rent control
The Nova Scotia Advocate: Barrett the Privateer: Pillaging the spoils of Nova Scotia’s rent crisis
Chronicle Herald: Halifax family fears rent increases a factor in relative's death