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NB ACORN’s statement on the provincial housing strategy - ACORN Canada

NB ACORN’s statement on the provincial housing strategy

Posted July 4, 2023

When ACORN NB was founded, we began to sound the alarm about the growing housing crisis in New Brunswick. With NB Government’s release of NB Housing Strategy: Housing for All, it’s clear that the government of New Brunswick has come to grips with the housing affordability crisis that has developed over the past few years. The newly announced rent bank has the potential to help some tenants keep their housing. Repairs to non-profit and co-operative housing are sorely needed. The NB government has remembered the necessity to test for radon in public housing after a damning report from the Auditor General showing dangerously high radon levels.

This strategy still leaves tenants in New Brunswick behind.

A strategic goal of the report is to “Create conditions to hold annual rent increases at an average of 2.5 per cent and the percentage change in average home prices to 4.8 per cent.” The government of New Brunswick will continue to give tax breaks to landlords, subsidize construction and non-profits, but will not take the simplest route, which is to cap rent increases. They clearly understand the difficulties of the crisis, because they are continuing to provide property tax relief for owners of housing or rental properties, with an eye to continue cutting those taxes. Over the past years, in our work, our message has been clear: we are in a housing affordability crisis and unchecked rent increases and a lack of eviction protections are responsible. The government continually talks about the effect of rent caps on development of housing, but a cap doesn’t determine the price when a house first hits the market, it keeps the price down for rental units that already exist. Rent control is a consumer protection for tenants, and a way to keep housing affordable. It does not conflict with the creation of more housing supply. We have been saying this for years and will repeat ourselves for as long as it takes!

NB ACORN is calling on the NB Government to:

  • Establish a rent cap
  • Strengthen eviction protections, ban renovictions
  • Extend the protections of the Residential Tenancy Act to NB Housing Tenants
  • Revise the Residential Tenancy Act