Nova Scotia is in a housing crisis and the Liberals will be introducing three bills today aimed at providing short-term relief to this chronic issue.
“Urgent, ambitious action is needed to ensure we address this crisis and keep life affordable for everyday Nova Scotians,” says Housing critic Lorelei Nicoll. “These bills will provide mechanisms for municipalities to have regulations in place that address urgencies like the housing emergency.”
The Liberal caucus will be tabling three pieces of legislation to combat the housing crisis:
Renter Protection Act – Rent control will be set according to the Consumer Price Index, which is automatically implemented after six months of sustained provincial vacancy rates below an average of 3 per cent. By using a measurable metric, rather than an arbitrary date we can help ensure that the cost of rental housing will remain stable in Nova Scotia until enough units have been constructed to sustain a healthy market.
Inclusionary Zoning Act for Affordable and Emergency Housing – This bill will empower municipalities to create affordable housing, offer incentives to create these new options, and allow land to be used for the purposes of emergency housing.
Renovation Eviction Protection Act – Tenants will be eligible for compensation from the landlord equal to one month’s rent for each year they have lived in their current dwelling place, up to six months, when a landlord gives notice to quit to allow for renovations.
“I was a city councillor for 12 years, so I’ve seen firsthand the housing crisis on a municipal level,” adds Nicoll. “These bills centered on inclusionary zoning and protecting renters from renovictions and skyrocketing rent increases is absolutely necessary.”
The housing crisis has roots in our economic success, since the markets haven’t been able to keep up with the record number of newcomers and young people moving to our province.
So there’s no doubt long-term action is needed by our government to increase housing supply. But with over 400 homeless people in Nova Scotia and more at risk of becoming homeless with rent control set to expire in February, these bills will keep people in their homes until the markets stabilize.