N.S. brings in rent control, bans 'renovictions' amidst affordable housing crunch

Nova Scotia has reintroduced rent control with a maximum rent increase of two per cent as 'renovictions' and rising rents cause homeless during pandemic.

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal government is bringing in rent control amidst a series of evictions of low-income tenants and rising homelessness in Halifax.

Housing Minister Chuck Porter said today that rents across the province can't increase by more than two per cent a year.

He also says landlords at this time will not be able to obtain an eviction order for renovations — informally known as a "renoviction" — because he says people shouldn't be forced out of their homes during the pandemic.

The province is also creating the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission, composed of representatives from the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors, which will recommend ways to increase affordable housing.

Porter says the province's housing market is going through an unprecedented situation, made worse by COVID-19, and says immediate action is required.

The suspension of renovation-related eviction orders will be in place until Feb. 1, 2022, or until the province lifts its state of emergency order, whichever is sooner.

Rental increase protections are retroactive to Sept. 1.

The province says it has already committed $513 million over 10 years in affordable housing projects and programs.

Rent control hasn't existed in Nova Scotia since the Liberal government of former premier John Savage eliminated it in 1993.

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