July 23rd, 2024

New rules coming for tenants paying fixed rent in Nova Scotia’s public housing units

By The Canadian Press on June 20, 2024.

Nova Scotia Housing Minister John Lohr speaks to reporters in Halifax, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. The Nova Scotia government is changing the rules for those who pay a fixed amount of monthly rent to live in public housing, a move the government says is aimed at achieving fairness and consistency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government is changing the rules for those who pay a fixed amount of rent for public housing, a move the government says is aimed at achieving fairness and consistency.

Housing Minister John Lohr says that over the next four years, 1,445 public housing tenants will start paying rent based on their household income, which means they could be paying more or less than they are now.

Lohr says the rent-geared-to-income model, used by public housing agencies across the country, ensures that tenants pay no more than 30 per cent of their household income on rent.

Of the 17,500 Nova Scotians living in public housing, about 13 per cent pay a fixed amount to cover their rent, an arrangement that is a holdover from previous programs that date back 30 years.

About 75 per cent of those tenants will see their monthly rent increase by an average of $96 after four years of phased-in increases, and the remaining tenants will see their rents decrease.

Government officials confirmed the province is expected to collect an additional $400,000 in rent, but that amount will be offset by the additional $3 million spent on covering heating expenses for those who move to the rent-geared-to-income model.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

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