November 9th, 2020

Evictions rise dramatically after moratorium ended

HALIFAX - After the moratorium on evictions expired in June, the number of eviction notices rose dramatically across the province. According to a Freedom of Information request received by the NDP Caucus, just 28 eviction notices were filed in April, May, and June of 2020. However, from the end of the moratorium on June 30 to August 14, there were 343 eviction notices filed.

“Evictions were on the rise in the middle of the pandemic and there is nothing to suggest evictions have slowed down. People need safe, secure, and affordable housing, and the Liberals are the only people who can’t see we’re facing a housing crisis,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “In just 45 days, 343 households were served with eviction notices. The cost of renting is rising faster than people’s incomes. We need rent control now.”

People across the province have been hit hard by rental increases and a low vacancy rate. It is not uncommon now to hear about rent increases of several hundred dollars a month. The NDP Caucus will file another Freedom of Information Request on eviction notices that have happened since August 14.

“People who lose their homes through eviction really don’t have anywhere to go. If they qualify for public housing, they join a very long waitlist. Housing support workers have full caseloads because they are struggling to locate units for people in our communities,” said Lisa Roberts, NDP Housing Spokesperson. “It is completely unacceptable that in the midst of a global pandemic, the Liberals are not taking any steps to regulate rapid rent increases. Today, the Liberals could implement rent control by cabinet decision or could call the legislature back and pass the NDP's Rental Fairness and Affordability Act."

The NDP Caucus has introduced legislation that would bring back rent control, which the Liberals eliminated in 1993.