June 2nd, 2021

Pandemic evictions continue under Liberals

HALIFAX -- The Liberal government must take action to better protect renters. Too many tenants continue to face evictions from their homes during the third wave of the pandemic.

Paul Cyr is scrambling to find a place to live after being told at the last minute his fixed-term lease would not be renewed. Cyr initially received a signed letter saying he could renew his lease, only to be told weeks later he would not be able to.

“I couldn’t believe it when they wrote back and said I wouldn’t be able to stay. I lost my job during COVID and have been managing to get by but it’s nearly impossible to find an apartment I can afford on a month’s notice,” said Cyr, who lives in the North End of Halifax. “There are so many ways for landlords to basically get around the current rules, including the two per cent rent cap, and evict a tenant so they can raise the rent. There needs to be better protections for renters.”

This week’s report from the Affordable Housing Commission recommended the government look at the Rental Tenancies Act to improve renter protections this year.

“The housing crisis has been building for a long time and the pressure on renters has gotten worse during the pandemic,” said NDP Housing spokesperson Lisa Roberts. “We need a government that will not allow people to get pushed out by massive rent increases and renovictions, and will protect tenants like Mr. Cyr who are just trying to keep a roof over their heads.”

The NDP has tabled legislation to make rent control permanent in Nova Scotia and acknowledge housing as a human right.