COVID-19 Rent Freeze Nova Scotia

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Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, countless workers have been laid off while many others have to dramatically cut back their working hours to care for children or elderly relatives.

A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reports that only 14% of workers in the lowest income bracket have paid sick leave, with the threat of COVID hanging over our heads the decision to stay home or go to work is literally life or death. The federal government has already expanded EI benefits and created a stimulus package to help Canadians stay afloat during this pandemic, but this aid is useless when the majority of that money is going towards keeping a roof over our heads.

Nova Scotia has the oldest population in Canada, and a large population of students and part-time workers who are at risk of not receiving EI benefits. What happens come April 1st when a large percentage of us are not able to make rent?

People should not have to pay to keep a roof over their heads during a pandemic. We believe housing security is a right, which is why we are calling for the following:

1. A rent freeze for all tenants in the HRM and greater Nova Scotia. Especially those who are high risk for COVID-19, unable to work due to the provincial state of emergency, under self-quarantine or in isolation.

2. A guarantee that in addition to a moratorium on all evictions, no tenant will be evicted or forced to retroactively pay rent once the state of emergency is over due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. For the government to redistribute vacant units and empty hotel rooms to be used by people who are homeless or living in shelters, to reduce their risk of becoming sick or transmitting the virus to others and to aid with social distancing measures.

Even if you do not rent or are receiving pay, sign for those of us who cannot. We are stronger and healthier together.

Join our Facebook group to continue organizing and fighting for housing security.