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For Immediate Release
October 10, 2023

NDP ideas will increase homelessness, worsen housing crisis

Housing policies announced by NDP Leader Claudia Chender in recent weeks will increase the number of unhoused Nova Scotians and make the province’s housing crisis worse.

Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS) Executive Director Kevin Russell noted the failure of the NDP’s rent control policies adopted by the previous Liberal government and extended under the current PC government.

Statistics Canada recently reported that rents increased in Nova Scotia in 2022 at a higher percentage than in any other province in Canada.  Data from the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia (AHANS) also show that the number of homeless in Halifax Regional Municipality has more than doubled since the introduction of rent control in the fall of 2020.

“We told the politicians rent control would actually make rents more expensive in Nova Scotia and we told them two years ago that it would increase the number of homeless people,” said Russell. “They didn’t listen, brought in rent control and now Nova Scotians are paying the highest rent increases in Canada and more Nova Scotians can’t find a place to live.”

As part of the work of the independent Affordable Housing Commission in 2020-2021, IPOANS had submitted Statistics Canada data from 2000 to 2019 showing apartment rents going up at a higher rate in jurisdictions in Canada that have long had rent control – Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island – than in Nova Scotia, which had no rent control.  IPOANS also submitted a report from Gardner Pinfold that concluded that rent control would reduce the supply of rental housing.

The Affordable Housing Commission recommended that rent control be removed at the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency – an independent recommendation that politicians from all three political parties ignored.

“We need housing policies based on evidence, not populist schemes that actually hurt more people through higher rents and less available housing,” added Russell.  “We also need housing policies based on the real world of the number one source of affordable rental housing in Nova Scotia – the private sector.  Government wouldn’t make decisions about health care without talking to those that work in health care – why are they making decisions about housing without consulting with the people that provide most of the housing?”

Because of the government’s rent control policies and lack of action to fix the broken residential tenancies system, many small rental housing providers are selling their single-family home rental properties to new owners who are moving in displacing tenants and reducing the available supply of rental housing, especially affordable rental housing.

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c: Kevin Russell
t: (902) 789-0946