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Advocacy group ACORN New Brunswick holds a mock funeral in Moncton on Jan. 3, 2023, for the province's rent cap. Image: Submitted

Advocates Hold Mock Funeral For N.B. Rent Cap

By Brad Perry Jan 5, 2023 | 1:30 PM

Affordable housing advocates are continuing their calls for permanent rent controls in New Brunswick.

A temporary 3.8 per cent rent cap that was put in place by the province last year expired as of Dec. 31.

Members from ACORN New Brunswick held a mock funeral in Moncton this week to mark the end of the rent cap.

“We honestly would have thought that the government would have extended this for at least a couple more years,” co-chair Peter Jongeneelen said in a phone interview.

MLAs in Nova Scotia, for example, voted last year to extend that province’s rent cap until the end of 2023. Landlords are only permitted to increase rent by up to two per cent each year.

Jongeneelen said many tenants ACORN New Brunswick has heard from are feeling anxious about the decision.

In fact, some tenants in New Brunswick are facing rent increases as high as 45 per cent, he said.

“Some of these people are one rent increase away from not being able to pay the rent and possibly winding up living on the street because they cannot find housing that they can afford,” said Jongeneelen.

Service New Brunswick Minister Jill Green said the rent cap deterred developers from creating new rental units, but a number of experts have disputed that claim.

Green announced two new protections in November which she said will help protect tenants from excessive rent increases.

Under Bill 25, which received royal assent in December, tenants now have 60 days instead of 30 days to apply for a review through the Residential Tenancies Tribunal.

In addition, the Tribunal can now phase in approved rent increases over two or three years if they exceed inflation. Landlords are not able to seek another rent increase during that time.

“Bill 25 is not a form of rent control, although the government is trying desperately to count this as a form of rent control,” said Jongeneelen.

“Political pressure has to be put on this government to reconsider and reimplement rent control.”


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