For Immediate Release
12 September, 2023
With the number of people seeking emergency housing steadily increasing since 2020, NDP Leader Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre) is demanding the Minister responsible for Residential Tenancies asking improve rent to the help constituents who are facing obscene rental increases. Dinn outlines five cases from across the province each facing increases in rent of 50-85% over the last two years in a letter to the Minister.
“The increases I quoted are far in excess of the 2.85% and the 2.05% annual increases you reference [in your letter] for Newfoundland and Labrador and exceed the 4% increase you reference for jurisdictions with rent control. In April 2022, ninety-nine people were experiencing chronic homelessness. That number swelled to 183 in July 2023 - an 85% increase. Provincially, emergency shelter use has exploded from 173 in January 2022 to 326 in May 2023. That’s an 88.4% increase with the largest numbers - 67.8% - on the Avalon Peninsula. As I stated in my letter to you, the federal and provincial measures you listed will do little to offset the rent increases or help those who have nowhere to live.
“If the provincial government truly wishes to take substantive action to address the social determinants of health and improve the well-being of people struggling with soaring rents, then it should consider meaningful action that will make housing more affordable.
“The province must invest in more non-market community based housing. Either that or it must implement rent stabilization or establish a process, possibly through the PUB, where large landlords must justify their rent increases. The current Residential Tenancies process is too cumbersome for renters. Government's reliance on private investors and a market-based approach is already failing many people who rely on affordable properties to live.”
A full transcript of the letter is available at this link: https://www.nl.ndp.ca/post/letter-from-mha-dinn-to-minister-stoodley-on-rent-control
Media Contact: Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, 709.729.2137