Group rallies in front of N.S. legislature to support continued rent control
An all-day rally was held Thursday outside the Nova Scotia legislature to draw attention to rent control.
Justin Lundrigan delivers furniture. His partner, Natasha Moore, is a human relations advisor. They, along with their son Jaylen, were couch-surfing for more than a year as they looked for an apartment.
"He shouldn't have to hear his parents at night, stressed and having conversations about this," says Lundrigan ... "About whether we're going to have roof to sleep under," adds Moore.
They were among a group of approximately 100 people who rallied outside the legislature to encourage the province to keep their two per cent cap on rent increases.
"Since this new government has come in we have not had any meetings either private or in public but really we didn't have much luck with the last government," says organizer and ACORN chair Hannah Wood.
Premier Tim Houston is on the record saying rent control is not the answer to the housing crunch, but Wood disagrees.
"Over 200 cities in the states have rent control, several provinces in Canada have rent control, development has not ceased, the housing market has not ceased, landlords have not thrown up their leases and walked away from the market," Wood says.
Aidan Thompkins does have an apartment, but he says his rent has increased 33 per cent in the last two years, from $1,350 to $1,750 a month.
He and his roommates can pay rent but he says they have nothing left after they do.
"I'm in a three-bedroom apartment," Thompkins said. "I have two roommates, we have very few assets, we can't really take on any assets or anything else at the moment because all of our money is being poured into paying rent."
For Lundrigan, Moore and their son, their year-long search for an apartment has paid off. They found a place on Wednesday and they consider themselves among the lucky ones to finally have that roof over their heads.
"There's a playground right next to our house," says Jaylen. "That's something I'm really excited about."
ACORN played a role in getting the province to implement the temporary rent control measures that are in place. Those measures are set to end when the state of emergency is lifted.
CTV News reached out to the premier's office for comment on rent control, but was told he was unavailable.