'It's been a lot of heartache,' says mom who can't find an affordable home for family
HALIFAX -- Affordable housing is becoming more scarce these days.
That's left one Nova Scotia mother bouncing from hotel to hotel with her kids for almost two months now -- without a home.
Lisa Logan and her four kids have lived in three hotels almost two months now.
"We don't have a stove, so everything has to be pre-made," Logan said.
It's not what she envisioned when she returned to Nova Scotia last year.
But after the home she was renting was sold, she couldn't find anything else she could afford.
"It's meant no school for my children," Logan said. "It's been a lot of heartache."
She's unable to work, so community services pays for the hotel stays.
After a heart attack earlier this year, Logan is on a priority list for public housing.
"I didn't know that there was so many other homeless families, homeless people," Logan said.
Jim Graham is the executive director of theAffordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia."I would say we're in quite a deep hole."
Graham says putting affordable units in new buildings, is only part of the answer.
"I think also part of it is acquiring existing buildings, its increasing the non-profit stock, as a portion of the rental market," Graham said.
That means setting aside more properties before they get bought up, developed, and flipped for higher rents.
"It's not uncommon to see apartment buildings being built in Halifax, but affordable housing is less common. According to the United Way, the city needs 14,000 affordable housing units.
"We simply can't afford to build new units based on the incomes that people have at their disposal," said Kevin Hooper, the manager of partnerships
& community development for the United Way.
The province says there are more than 2,011 people on the wait list for public housing in Halifax.
The United Way estimates well over 19,500 Halifax households live in "extreme housing poverty" and are at risk of homelessness.
"One day, you can have a lot of resources to work with, but that can just disappear pretty quickly, and when it does it, you can be in a real hard spot," Hooper says.
Logansays something needs to happen so everybody has an affordable place to live.
By late Thursday afternoon, there was good news for Logan.
A letter announcing that she qualifies for the province's rent supplement program arrived, thanks to changes in effect as of Thursday.
It means she can now start looking for a real home,
although she knows she's become one of the fortunate ones.