July 28th, 2012
Government Says Rent Control Won’t Be Coming Back!
What is the Latest News about Rent Control?
A couple of regional councillors in Halifax claim they have heard complaints about rent increases. The want the government to consider bringing about ‘rent control.’
According to Councillor Sue Uteck, people are saying rent payments are too expensive and they simply can’t afford it.
Do they Have Any Concrete Examples?
Uteck claims she heard the complaints while campaigning door to door. One person she met stated his rent went up $400. One student said his rent jumped up by $300 a month. One senior citizen said their rent increased by $350.
Uteck says that while rent control may not be the best answer, what other choices are out there?
What Does the Government Say About Rent Control?
Fortunately the government has no interest in bringing back rent control. According to the spokesperson for Premier Dexter, rent control is “not something the province is considering or looking at at this time.”
Can You Tell Me the Back Story Behind This?
Rent control end in 1993 under a Liberal government.
What was the Rental Environment Like Back Then?
The economy wasn’t strong and vacancies were at all time high. Vacancy rates of over 12 % were common in Halifax.
It was so back landlords were forced to offer things such as free cable television to try to attract tenants.
What is the Vacancy Rate in 2012?
Vacancy rates are much lower.
According to the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), the rate is 3.2 for Halifax.
The average rent in Halifax for a 2 bedroom apartment is $926/month.
Aren’t the Vacancy Rates Published by the CMCH Misleading?
Yes. They don’t take small private landlords into account in their study. In reality, the rates are no where near what the CMHC has published.
Who is the Second Councillor Trying to Use the Rent Control Issue to Get Votes?
Dawn Sloane is a councillor who is running in a newly created riding. Sloane says she contacted Premier Dexter about rent control and he didn’t even agree to consider it. According to Sloane, she’s hearing more and more tenant complaints.
What’s the Reason for Higher Rents in Halifax?
Both councillors believe the the Irving shipbuilding contract is the reason reason for the rent hikes.
According to Sloane landlords as “cashing in.”
Why Are Rents Rising in Halifax?
When rents drop and and vacancy rates rise, where were these two councillors? Where are they on the real issues for rent increases: out of control property taxes and huge increases in the costs of utilities and energy.
Political pandering is alive and well in Halifax. Fortunately the Premier is aware of it.