Dartmouth tenants concerned about future after affordable housing community is put up for sale
The potential sale of an entire affordable housing community in Dartmouth, N.S., has many of the residents concerned for their futures.
About 1,000 people live at Ocean Breeze Village, including Jordyn Johnson and her family.
Johnson currently pays $1,150 to rent a three-bedroom apartment – a price she says she'll struggle to find anywhere else.
"I work full-time as a line cook and it’s just like, there’s not enough affordable housing here to provide for everybody, especially for families of four and families of five,” Johnson says.
Residents found out on Twitter that the property owner, the Elia Corporation, has put the property up for sale.
Many are worried what new owners would do with the nearly 60 acre site.
Affordable housing advocates are calling for action.
“The city and the province must make sure these people are able to maintain their home and there isn’t a mass displacement of tenants,” says Lina Hamid, chair of Acorn Halifax.
Resident Clark MacIntosh has a suggestion.
"I mean, we’re surrounded by municipal and federal lands. It makes sense that some level of government buy this place and use this as more affordable housing. Actual affordable housing,” MacIntosh says.
Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc says the province would be in a better position to do that had her party’s proposed legislation passed back in 2020 that would give the government first right of refusal on any property being sold in the province.
"It doesn’t mean the government has to keep it and run it, but they could then work with not-for-profits or co-ops and figure out how to keep the units affordable,” says Leblanc.
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston wasn't making any commitments on Monday.
“We need more housing supply. We know that will come from a variety of sources so, you never say never,” Houston says.
A representative from Elia Corporation says they see this as a good time to create new residential housing on the site, adding since they are not developers, they decided to put the property up for sale.