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EDITORIAL: Housing solutions can’t come fast enough for Atlantic Canadian tenants

By allowing rents to increase unabated or by making owning rental units so unaffordable landlords sell them off — it’s the renters who suffer

Residents of a P.E.I. apartment complex who received notice in June that the building was being divided into condos are among the latest victims in Atlantic Canada’s housing crisis where everyone seems to be feeling the squeeze.

The tenants say they can’t afford to buy their units, and the new owners of the complex say they can’t afford to operate the building as rental units.

“Landlords can’t operate under those rules. And you’re going to see a whole lot of problems because of it,” one of the new owners, Ian Walker told SaltWire on June 29, refering to P.E.I.’s zero per cent rent freeze. “The sooner the government realizes it and corrects it, the better off they’ll be.”

That warning is being repeated around Atlantic Canada.

Rental caps

Amanda Knight, who owns 24 units in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, told a standing committee in April that Nova Scotia’s plan to extend rental caps for the next several years will affect housing supply.

“I can assure you, you will see a spike in properties being sold and an exponential increase in Nova Scotians who struggle to find housing or become homeless,” Knight said. …[Continue Reading]