November 29th, 2023

Housing crisis deepens, Houston failing to provide permanent support

HALIFAX – As the weather gets colder and people continue to struggle to afford their homes, the Houston government’s ‘solutions’ are leaving too many Nova Scotians literally out in the cold.

According to the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, 1051 people were actively homeless in the HRM as of November 21. That’s up from around 700 this time last year. The province’s rent inflation rate is the highest in Canada at 14.1 percent.

Today’s Public Accounts Committee will review investments in Affordable Housing and the impacts of that spending.

“There are real solutions to these problems that the Houston government could act on today,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “They could create a vacant land tax to ensure developers don’t bank land, they could close the fixed-term lease loophole, and they could move quickly to expand the non-market housing sector and approve truly affordable housing developments that provide people homes they can afford.”

Nova Scotians need help and it’s time for the Houston government to step up and ensure everyone has a safe and affordable home:

“We’ve lived here 20 years and the new landlord has renovicted us, two people living with a disability who will be living in a tent in six months’ time because there are no affordable rentals here in the Valley for IA recipients.” - Bob Fitch, Annapolis Valley
“I have a nice little 'bachelor' apartment in downtown Halifax. However the rent has been increasing yearly – except for the rent freeze years brought on because of Covid – and I worry sometimes that I will be priced out of the area. I realize that I am much better off than many in this city but it still worries me that I might end up in a rooming house one day.” - Nancy Smith, Halifax
“My partner and I are forced to look for a new place to call home for May 1st, and we are running out of time. Every apartment or rental situation we have come across is extremely unaffordable for us. The fixed-term rental lease has definitely been used as a loophole to get around the rental cap, and it’s so frustrating. We are worried we will become homeless if we cannot find a place we can afford soon enough. Housing is a human right. The government needs to step up to protect and uphold this right.” - Ellen Legge, Halifax