October 16, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Rally for rent control attracts spectators in downtown Halifax

Rally for rent control attracts spectators in downtown Halifax

Calls for rent control came as a crowd of 200 gathered across Halifax on Saturday afternoon and marched through the downtown core.

The rally, organized by a group of lawyers ACORN, began outside City Hall, where a wide-open Grand Parade allowed physical distance.

But the demands of the demonstrators are aimed at the regional government.

They want the province to pass legislation that would reduce the rent increase by three percent annually.

Organizer Hannah Wood says they want justification for major renovations or repairs.

“And Willie-Nilly is not the way to raise it whenever they want it now and they don’t have to justify it to anyone,” said manager Hannah Wood.

Over the past six months, the CBC has reported on rent increases from HRM 17 percent Until 90 percent.

About 200 people gathered at the Grand Parade outside Halifax City Hall on Saturday afternoon demanding a legal limit on rent increases. (Tarin Grant / CBC)

In addition to that kind of rent increase, along with mass layoffs a The record-low vacancy rate is one percent, Premier Stephen McNeill told reporters last month that he had identified housing as a problem – something his government was trying to solve.

However, he was not interested in rent control, which “does not work” because it discourages development. Housing Minister Chuck Porter has made a similar argument repeatedly in recent months.

Wood was not satisfied with their response.

“When they say rent control doesn’t work, I think they’re thinking about landlords and developers and not about the average person. Rent control helps the situation of the average low – income tenant.”

Demonstrators marched to the Provincial House to conclude the event on Saturday. Two years ago the NDP introduced a bill legalizing rent control. The Liberal government left it untouched on the legislature floor.

‘I’m angry,’ said the tenant

Among those who went to the Legislature was Jennifer Ryan.

She was recently notified of a $ 130 rent increase at her bachelor apartment in the West End of Halifax. That’s a 19 percent increase compared to the $ 695 she pays.

Ryan said he would raise the rent by more than 90 percent if he chose to change his lease terms from month to month.

“I am angry about the reasons for forced rent increases, rent reductions, many people who are below the poverty line or less have to pay higher prices,” she said.

Ryan says he can pay the new rent on his $ 30,000 salary, but only.

“I can not bear to see something go wrong. [coming in]. “

Sharon Fernandez holds a sign calling for rent control outside the provincial house in downtown Halifax and a guide on tenant rights from Dalhousie Legal Aid. (Tarin Grant / CBC)

Sharon Fernandez says she does not think rent control will completely eliminate housing insecurity, but she thinks it is part of the solution to the current housing crunch.

As a social worker, Fernandez made people homeless every day. Part of her job is to help people find and keep a place to live.

“It was heartbreaking to watch,” she said. “Like, very discouraging.”

“It simply came to our notice then [else], And tomorrow it could be me. “

Attorney Tommy Wohler was at the rally on Saturday, and she is concerned about rising rents and mass layoffs.

In her work on Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Wohler said rent problems were up to half of her caseload.

“We have a significant housing crisis in Nova Scotia,” Wohler said.

She said she wants the ordinance to reconsider rent control.

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