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In the Maritimes, tenants are getting hit with steep rent increases

For the first 15 months of the pandemic, Mike Nantau lived at a motel in Stratford, Prince Edward Island, one of the few places that was affordable and accepted dogs.

The price was right – $710 a month – but not much else. There were cockroaches. The bar fridge could only fit a couple days’ worth of food. The motel was sullied by drug use and violence. And with lockdowns in effect, the 67-year-old would go weeks without seeing anyone.

Eager to get out, he leased a second-floor apartment in nearby Charlottetown last year, sight unseen. At $900, the monthly rent was more expensive, but thanks to a provincial benefit for low-income seniors, Mr.
Nantau could manage the increase.

The trouble now is that his mobility is getting worse, the journey up the stairs more arduous. He’s looking for a new home, but with his trifecta of requirements – ease of access, pet-friendly and affordable – there isn’t much that fits the bill.

“It used to be very easy to find a place to live here in Charlottetown,” he said. “Six or seven years ago, you could get an apartment for $800 that’s costing you $1,200 or $1,300 now.

“There’s just nothing out there. … [Read More]