New Brunswick housing advocates blow up government poll – New Brunswick
The New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants’ Rights said it was baffled by the Department of Social Development’s survey on affordable housing.
The survey, which has since been withdrawn, asked New Brunswickers to rank vulnerable populations who are most deserving of housing. Among the list were the homeless, Indigenous communities, low-income families and people with disabilities.
âThe investigation was incredibly inappropriate,â said Aditya Rao, organizer of NBCTR.
âThe question you yourself asked asked respondents to effectively classify people as more or less deserving or in need of housing and pit people against each other in that way. “
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When the investigation was released, Rao said there were even spelling mistakes in the investigation. He said the government subsequently corrected them before removing them altogether.
Rao believes this was a version intended for release.
However, the Department of Social Development said it was sent in error.
âOnce discovered, the investigation was shut down and the press release removed from the website,â spokesman Jeremy Trevors said.
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âThe survey was a tool used to assist in the development of New Brunswick’s 2022-2025 Action Plan, which is a requirement under the 2018-2028 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Bilateral Agreement. , and describes how the province will use the costs – matching funding to achieve targets and outcomes specific to housing and homelessness programs, âhe added.
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Trevors said the ministry is committed to further public consultations.
Not much progress
However, Rao doesn’t take too much stock on this matter. He said there had been little progress on the 12 recommendations of the 90-day review.
The province began the review in late February.
The recommendations fall into four broad categories: strengthening existing services; increase in rental supply; a review of lease legislation; and increasing human resources in the construction industry.
Rent control, a major demand from several tenant organizations across the province, is missing from the recommendations.
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While the report notes in its opening pages that the province “is not currently in a housing crisis,” it paints a dire picture of the number of people who are failing in the current system. Along with a jurisdictional analysis, officials spoke to over 4,000 tenants and 1,000 landlords and developers.
Rao said rents continue to skyrocket and he gets calls from tenants every two days with problems. In New Brunswick, tenants have very little protection or legislation for their rights, he said.
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âIt’s the Wild West out there,â he said in an interview on Monday. “This is not how you guarantee the right to affordable housing, this is not how you guarantee the right to adequate housing, and this is certainly not how you solve a housing crisis.”
Rao said the group struggled to understand the government’s action on the housing issue.
âIt’s amazing what is happening at the provincial level with the housing issue. We have a hard time understanding, you know, what the government seems to be seeing as a priority.
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