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Rent prices are expected to increase in Nova scotia, says CMHC report

By Joe Thomson May 2, 2023 | 3:49 PM

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A new report from the Canadian Mortgages and Housing Corporation predicts that rent prices will increase in Nova Scotia over the next two years.

Residents in the province have already been feeling the squeeze of the housing crisis, paired with inflation causing the cost of living to climb.

Liberal MLA and housing shadow minister, Braedon Clark, says that the PC government needs do more to help residents get by. He said that he doesn’t know why the government didn’t adopt the legislation that he tabled in this spring’s session that would get rid of fixed-term leases in the province.

Under the current system, landlords cannot increase rent by more than two percent due to a rent cap. Some landlords have found a loophole to this by signing tenants to a fixed-term lease, which allows the landlord to find a new tenant at the end of the lease and increase the rent as much as they like.

“The minister in that case… has talked about fixed-term leases being abused by bad apples in the landlord community, and I would agree with him on that, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do anything,” said Clark. “Just because most people are good drivers doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have speed limits.”

The CMHC report also said that the number of new homes being built in the province continues to be low and is expected to go down, contributing to the extremely low vacancy rate.

Clark feel’s it’s time for the government to step in.

“The big issue is that the government is not willing to build, or fund in a significant way, non-market housing. Whether that’s public housing, whether that’s cooperative housing, whether that’s affordable housing, the government is just not stepping up to the plate as much as they should,” said Clark.

The Houston government did announce it will spend $50 million over the next four years to renovate its current stock of public housing. There hasn’t been a new public housing development in the province for nearly 30 years and improvements to the existing stock are much needed.

Clark agrees that funding for the current stock is important, but still thinks there should have been room in the budget for a new public housing project.

He said he’s looking forward to the government’s housing plan but is getting tired of waiting.

“The government has teased a housing plan that is supposed to come out at some point this spring, but clearly Nova Scotians can’t afford to keep waiting and waiting for the Houston government to do something to address this housing crisis,” said Clark.


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