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Affordable housing rally in Dartmouth calls for more units in HRM


ACORN Nova Scotia organized a rally outside Mic Mac Mall on Saturday calling for affordable housing units to be included in all future housing developments, including the construction of residential units that will be built around the shopping centre.

Late last year, Halifax developer Joe Ramia, president of Rank Inc., and a group of investors submitted an application to build several new high-rise apartments on the site surrounding the mall.

It is expected to bring 2,000 new residential units in the area.

People attending the rally want the towers to include affordable units in its plan.

“Most of the people who work in this mall behind me work at a level that is within a dollar or two more than minimum wage, and they’re not going to be able to afford to live in the luxury condos [and] accommodations,” said ACORN Dartmouth Chapter co-chair Tim Allenby.

Marjorie Pemberton and Fabian Donovan are roommates that live in Dartmouth.

They attended the rally and carried signs supporting affordable housing.

They said the circumstances they are in is difficult.

Pemberton and Donovan are roommates. Without each other, they would not be able to afford a rental in Dartmouth.

“I worked my whole life. I never thought I would be where I am today,” said Pemberton.

Pemberton said their building is riddled with pests, rodents, and mold, however, what keeps them there is the rent control.

“We both rely on our pensions and that doesn’t cover enough for us to leave,” she said.

Despite this, the pair have been looking for a clean and affordable place to call home but have not found anything that meets their budget.

“We can’t even look once we see the price. It will have taken 60 per cent of our income,” she explained.

They said joining this fight for affordable housing units is all they can do.

The campaign is part of a larger push for more affordable units to be mandated as part of new construction.

“Make sure that it’s affordable and not just by the standard measures of affordable, but it’s affordable on real peoples’ real wages,” Allenby said.

The development at this mall is expected to be completed over 10 phases, which will take several years before it is done.

The group said that they believe government needs to get involved.

“A lot of people are living in tents and stuff because they can’t afford to live anywhere anymore. The cost of living has gone up tremendously,” said Lisa Hayhurst, ACORN Dartmouth Chapter co-chair.

ACORN said Saturday’s rally is only part of its ongoing fight for affordable housing. The group has planned a city-wide forum to discuss the issue on July 13. Top Stories

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