Bold Action Needed to Combat Dramatic Rent Increases in Nova Scotia
September 20, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
Nova Scotia’s Liberals are renewing their call for the Houston government to remove the
HST from new rental builds after recent data revealed average rent in Nova Scotia was up
nearly 10 per cent in the past year.
Last week, the federal government asked provinces to remove the provincial portion of the
HST on new rental builds. Governments of all political stripes have said yes, but the
Houston government has been silent. With rents going up faster in Nova Scotia than any
other province, the time for action is now.
“The Houston government has an opportunity to work with the federal government to deal
with one of the biggest challenges facing our province,” said Opposition Leader Zach
Churchill. “Eliminating the HST on new rental builds is a positive first step that should be
taken to create more affordable housing for Nova Scotians.”
Industry experts say that housing starts – which have slowed under the Houston
government – need to triple to keep up with population growth. The latest data confirms
the disturbing trend of lower supply and higher prices that has become the hallmark of the
past two years.
“Rents are skyrocketing across Nova Scotia, and not enough homes are being built.
Working with Ottawa to incentivize new housing development is the obvious thing to do,
but this government hasn’t done it yet,” said Liberal Housing shadow minister Braedon
Clark. “It’s past time for the Houston government to show leadership on housing instead of
looking for excuses and others to blame.”