November 5th, 2020

Housing crunch hitting communities throughout Nova Scotia

HALIFAX -- The issues with affordable housing in Nova Scotia continue to grow, hitting communities beyond HRM and CBRM. Renters and those looking to buy a home are facing increasing prices, leaving many struggling.

In Bridgewater the new town council has recently launched an all-member committee to look for solutions to the housing situation in their community. Anne Stockdale is a retired teacher who lives near Bridgewater and rents her home.

“Right now I’m living in a situation where I know my landlord will be moving back soon and they’ve already told me I’ll have to move out when they do,” said Stockdale. “With that in mind I’ve been looking for another option and there really is nothing out there. In one search I did, 19 other people had placed ads in search of the same kind of rental I was looking for. It’s really a scary situation to not know where you’re going to live.”

Nearly 20 per cent of all households in Nova Scotia spend 50 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing costs should be no more than 30 per cent of a family's income in order to be sustainable.

“We hear these stories time and time again in communities, cities and towns across Nova Scotia. There is a housing crisis in our province and the Liberal government doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it,” said NDP Housing spokesperson Lisa Roberts. “When we are continuously hearing about monthly rent increases in the hundreds of dollars, we know that people can’t go on like this.”

The NSNDP has been calling for rent control to stabilize the current rental market and putting forward alternative housing policies to help increase the amount of non-profit and social housing.