August 3rd, 2021

NDP will build new affordable housing so families are able to afford a place to live

Halifax – Today, NDP Leader Gary Burrill spoke with Fatuma Seid about how the housing crisis has worsened and how real people are struggling to find an affordable place to live.

“Under Iain Rankin and the Liberals, the housing crisis has worsened, leaving seniors, young people and families to deal with huge rent increases or trying to find an affordable home with limited options,” said Burrill. “Only during the election campaign has Iain Rankin finally noticed there needs to be more affordable housing. What have Iain Rankin and the Liberals been doing for the last eight years?”

According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, Nova Scotia ranks as having the unhealthiest rental market in Atlantic Canada. In 2020 Halifax had the worst vacancy rate of any major city in Canada at 1.7 per cent compared to Toronto at 3.4 per cent and Montreal at 3.3 per cent. In those cities rental supply has not been slowed by having rent control.

The Liberals have built fewer than 200 new affordable housing units and are eliminating temporary rent control leaving people vulnerable to skyrocketing rent increases.

“Every night I am searching for a new apartment, but I cannot afford any of the apartments I am seeing. I have to move out in two months and I am worried about becoming homeless. Our neighbourhood is growing, sure, but where are people in the community supposed to go?,” said Seid. “I’ve lived in this apartment for 18 years and I feel like a fish out of the water to see this big change in my community and the whole city.”

Iain Rankin’s housing scheme, released last week, will build only 400 new housing units in the next three years. This at a time when over 50 per cent of Nova Scotians can’t afford the average rent for a bachelor apartment on a single income.

“Real people need action on affordable housing immediately,” said Burrill. “They cannot afford to wait months or years for Iain Rankin to take the housing crisis seriously. Rent control is the best solution to ensure people can stay in their homes while supply increases. My question to Mr. Rankin is: What are families supposed to do with no place to live for three more years?”

An NDP government will build 1000 new affordable housing units in four years at a cost of $39.6 million per year.

“Voting NDP means permanent rent control and 1000 new affordable housing units, which will be created by investing in publicly owned, co-operative, and non-profit housing. Real people need solutions that will help them now. It’s time for something better,” said Burrill.