Since winning the temporary 2% rent cap in November 2020 – ACORN has been hearing stories and receiving rent increases from tenants whose landlords intend to raise rents after the cap lifts. Some increases are as high as $2000 extra dollars a month, while most range between $100-500 more. The new PC government has made it clear that they are not interested in protecting tenants from unreasonable rent increases past the state of emergency, so ACORN rallied in front of the legislature to demand they keep the rent cap.
We had 70 people at the initial rally, with 150 people dropping by throughout the day to sit in, tell their stories, and protest the government’s unwillingness to protect tenants. ACORN leaders Janet Niyonkuru, Lina Hamid, Hannah Wood, Sam Hall, Campbell McClintock, Pat Donovan, and Lisa Hayhurst spoke about everything from the discrimination they’ve faced as newcomers finding housing, to affordability, to issues getting repairs done in buildings.
Allied organizations and unions joined to both hold workshops and speak to the crowd. Nan McFadgen VP of the NSFL and President of CUPE, Gary Burrill and Suzy Hansen of the NSNDP, Christine Saulnier of the CCPA-NS, African Nova Scotian social justice and human rights advocate Raymond Sheppard, support workers and clients from the Truro Homeless Outreach Society, Vicky Levack speaking to universal design and accessible housing, Aparna Mohan from the Dalhousie Student Union, and Amanda Sprigs from the This Should Be Housing project. Along with a tenancy Q+A with Dal Legal Aid and food from The Loaded Ladle.
There’s a compilation of news coverage below, and we’ve already forced a response from Premier Tim Houston! Residential Tenancies emailed the night of September 23rd and said the government no longer plans to lift the state of emergency when we go to phase 5, so the rent cap will stay in place for a bit longer. ACORN knows this isn’t enough, and we’re going to fight to make sure the rent cap is permanent!
Stay tuned for upcoming actions. And in the meantime, send an email to the Premier and your MLA here demanding permanent rent control and real action on affordable housing: https://acorncanada.org/take-action/keep-rent-cap
NS Advocate: https://acorncanada.org/nova-scotia-advocate-media-release-acorn-rallying-keep-rent-cap
The Chronicle Herald: https://acorncanada.org/saltwire-group-rallying-legislature-fight-continued-cap-rent-increases
Halifax Today: https://acorncanada.org/halifax-today-thursday-rally-will-call-rent-control-stay-place
The Coast: https://acorncanada.org/coast-acorn-rally-calls-government-extend-rent-control