Move to Halifax They Said.

Welcome to Homelessness

Renting in Halifax, Nova Scotia has become dire. The city is currently sitting at a 1.5% vacancy rate. Making it not only difficult for people to move here for job opportunities, but it’s also pushing the residents of Halifax out of their homes.

Recently a friend of my partner’s was basically “rent evicted” from her apartment. She received a notice that her rent was increasing by $800 a month! Which is not illegal for landlords of rental properties. The landlord simply has to give you 4 months notice at which point you can choose to not accept the new terms. The information can be found here. Click on the guide.

Prior to returning to Halifax, we lived in Saint John, New Brunswick for 3 years. New Brunswick has far better measures in place to protect renters. In Nova Scotia, we have far better measures in place to protect landlords.

Since landing Halifax almost 11 months ago, we have been searching for suitable housing, settling on shared accommodations for now, which is not going well. See my piece about our recent eviction.

When I was younger, students in this city, (Halifax is a University town) would maybe have 3 or 4 students sharing a house. Now you’ve got kids in sleeping blankets on floors, 8-9 in a house just to complete their education.

Another huge problem is the overabundance of Air BnBs. It seems everyone is jumping on the Air BnB bandwagon, including property owners who are buying rental units and turning them strictly into Air BnB. Why rent to tenants when you can make $140/ night? So far, no regulations have been put into place regarding Air BnBs, despite residents demanding it, but I’ll tell you this-

Halifax renters are fucking sick of Air BnBs. Not only are you losing out on rental opportunities, but you have different people coming and going, often causing destruction at neighbouring properties. You never know your neighbour anymore. This is not a new concern for residents in Halifax.

I may have tweeted the Mayor of Halifax today.

We are getting so frustrated trying to find apartments here. Apartments that just a decade ago were $800-$900 are now $1500-$2000 a month! This is Halifax not Las Vegas for fuck sake. And even though my partner, our dog and I lived in a 400 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment in Saint John, think again about sharing a 1 bedroom in Halifax. Most places don’t allow it. Most places don’t allow dogs. Here’s a brief sampling of apartment ads near me from Kijiji.

2 Bedrooms
1 Bedroom
Apartments Wanted

Who can afford 2- $3000 a month on rent? Buy a house if you can pay that. What the hell are you doing throwing your money away like that?

In the fledgeling economy of the Maritimes, Nova Scotia is getting slammed by rent hikes, new rules, (all in favour of the landlord), a high unemployment rate, despite statistics showing growth, I know an awful lot of people who are either out of work, can’t find work, or disabled.

Many fear this will increase the homelessness rates in the province. Halifax’s shelters are already at maximum capacity.

Something needs to be done. Renters need to take back the power from the landlords. I suggest writing your MLAs, MPs, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, Premiere McNeil and any of your local city councillors and raise the concern of housing and Air BnBs.

If we don’t raise our concerns, lower-income people, the elderly and the disabled will end up displaced. They’re already pushing us all to the outskirts of the city. Can’t see the crisis? Then I guess there’s no problem.

How is rent in your city? Are you fed up with Air BnB yet?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

Further Reading (older, but still relevant)

https://acorncanada.org/metro-news-halifax-tenants-group-calls-return-rent-control-wants-it-become-election-issue

Images

Homeless Woman https://insp.ngo/american-students-provide-homeless/

Other images from Kijiji.ca

ARGH.

Stressed out womanWe were served one week ago with an eviction notice. For one week I have been unable to sleep more than three or four hours at a time. Unable to eat more than one small meal a day. I’ve had migraines. I’ve vomited, and I’m in a flare up. I’m having some pretty bad PTSD nightmares. My speech is slurred and I can’t stay out of the loo.

Thanks so much for this.

The vacancy rate in Halifax is 1.5%. There was just a piece published in the Chronicle Herald yesterday about how young people aren’t able to come to Halifax anymore because the rents are not only ridiculously high, but you’re lucky if you can even find housing.

So you tell me in what world two decent tenants are facing homelessness by the word of one person?

How can one person have the power to throw our lives into such upheaval? We had been nothing but kind and considerate since we moved in. If this individual didn’t like us, she had three months while we sublet, to change her mind about signing a lease with us. Yet she chose to.  She had ample opportunities to tell us if she had a problem with us, but she didn’t.

Every time I asked, (and I asked multiple times because I am not an asshole, and certainly didn’t want to disrupt anyone else) whether or not we disturbed her, or bothered her, we were told, “No, I never hear you guys.”

Any time she was rude to us, which was frequently, we took it on the chin and just went upstairs. Throughout ten months of incessant barking, we said nothing. Her girlfriend practically lived here, contributed nothing, but again, we said nothing. Why? Because we honestly liked these two people, we thought we were friends. But now I see we were just being taken advantage of.

Even though we did ALL the cleaning inside and outside (except lawn, that was the roommate’s only job), we said nothing because we wanted to live in a clean home whether she pitched an effort or not. We are not dirtbags.

The backyard is piled up with items that don’t belong to us. A bio composter of some kind, prior tenant. A wooden flower bed, prior tenant. Coffee table, roommate, stool, prior tenant, wagon, roommate. Pallets, roommate.  You get the drift.

We have spent the better part of 10 months living in a room together. The couple of times we attempted to use the living room (after we cleaned downstairs for hours) we were kicked out and ended up retreating to our bedroom.

We have felt disrespected THE ENTIRE time we have lived here. It’s not a good feeling. Again, we never involved the landlord because this was not a long term solution for us, and you DON’T INVOLVE LANDLORDS IN ROOMMATE DISPUTES in Halifax.

I’m going to have to schedule an appointment with my doctor because I’m having difficulty coping with all the stress this has brought on. I’m in menopause and I suffer from PTSD and Fibromyalgia, so that means I go from angry to crying in a flash. A hot flash. yuk yuk.

One thing I do to cope is clean, but this place is sparkling and I have run out of things to clean now.  I have begun packing, in case we are tossed out on to the street after our hearing.

Who needs this shit? Honestly.

I feel like I’ve been bullied my entire life, but none more than being a grown, disabled woman.  From constantly having to prove my disabilities, to narcissistic abuse from family and a few friends. I have taken so much shit from so many people over the years, that I have finally reached full. The shit runneth over.

I just want to lie on a beach with a book and forget all this ever happened. Including moving to Halifax.

To address our need for immediate housing, we have started a Go Fund Me to assist with moving costs, utility hookups, damage deposit etc. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated, if not, a simple share or prayer helps. Thank you so much for your kindness. I really appreciate my online friends and the blogging community.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

 

Image Credit

http://www.clker.com/clipart-634242.html

Facing Homelessness

Well, this has been one hell of a week let me tell you. In the last two weeks, our amicable roommate situation turned sour. We were are getting along just fine. Until the mange chihuahua.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE DOGS. I love cats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, you get the picture. I love animals. The issue was that we were already allergic to the existing chihuahua that lives here, Annie. Annie barks incessantly, all day, every day. it’s something we’ve learned to live with simply because she was here before us. I also have a dog. A miniature dachshund named Lucy. Lucy is wire/long hair. I have to cut her hair regularly. She is, for the most part, hypoallergenic.

The roommate sends us a message one day on our shared group chat explaining that she will be adopting this dog. Another barking chihuahua with mange mind you, not housebroken or vaccinated from the Dominican Republic (because apparently, Halifax dogs aren’t good enough). We said no. She kept picking at us, demanding we “chat about it”, which was basically her railroading us into accepting this dog. And if we didn’t accept this dog, we were told that her girlfriend would gladly take over our lease if that helps. HOW WOULD THAT HELP? We are in a lease until November. Housing in the city of Halifax is absolutely DIRE because of rent hikes and the increase of Air BnB’s swallowing up all the good rental opportunities.

She wouldn’t listen to us. She kept pushing. we kept saying no. So the roommate thought it would be a fantastic idea to contact the landlord, tell them we were fighting with her, threatening her (???). The landlords’ response: EVICTION for ALL of us.

We have a hearing scheduled for July 20th, although the landlords want us out by June 28th, which they cannot do because they themselves have applied for a hearing. I have verified this with the appropriate authorities.

In what world can two good tenants, (we pay our rent on time, we keep the home and property immaculate), get evicted because of a lie told by one person? This person has been caught lying so frequently, that I’m thinking she must have some kind of disorder. All the times we asked if we bothered her, disturbed her, we were told: “No, I never hear you guys.” But then tells the landlord we were disruptive. Again.. ????? The only thing disruptive in this house is Annie, the chihuahua mix.

So now we’re caught up in a legal battle as well as trying to find housing. Did I mention how FEW apartments in Halifax allow dogs?

My wife has been under immense pressure at work and literally feels like she’s being pushed out of a job, now we’re being pushed out of our home because our Adult Baby of a roommate pitched a fit for not getting her way.

I cannot express the amount of stress this has placed on us. We don’t have the money to move, can’t find an apartment, we can’t eat, can’t sleep. I have fibromyalgia, (ME/CFS) severe osteoarthritis, and PTSD. This is pushing me over the edge with stress. Unnecessary stress. We need prayers.

In the meantime, I have started up a Go Fund Me to help with moving costs and a new place to live. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what else to do at the moment.

https://www.gofundme.com/ckrtcr-immediate-housing-needed

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Be Kind to One Another.

S.