Matt Richards used to be unconcerned about housing expenses because he works for the government, his wife works, and they live in a Halifax neighborhood recognized for its affordability. Richards, his wife, and their four children must leave the four-bedroom duplex they’ve been renting in Lower Sackville for three years in less than two weeks and temporarily move into his brother’s home.
“My wife works full-time, and I make a respectable living. Because I have a wonderful job but am broke, I’m not sure how someone with a low-paying job might make ends meet ” he declared.
Richards rents a four-bedroom duplex for $1,550 a month (including heat), but his landlord is selling it. Richards’ search for a new home in the community has been unproductive, with comparable housing alternatives costing roughly $2,200 per month, excluding utilities.
Richards, 41, whose rental is only three doors down from where he grew up, said, “There’s things out there, but only if you make a fortune.”
Housing costs were previously a selling factor for living in Nova Scotia, but prices have risen in recent years as a result of a housing supply that has failed to keep pace with population growth.
The matter drew extra public attention last week when Halifax police pepper-sprayed and detained activists in the city’s downtown as officials destroyed hundreds of tents and temporary shelters from encampments in local parks and green areas.
With a federal election on the horizon, attention has moved to what the major political parties will do to address Nova Scotia’s affordable housing crisis, which is now affecting more than just low-income families.