Charlottetown, PE – Earlier today, the Official Opposition attended a briefing on the government’s proposed new Residential Tenancy Act. The shared priorities of tenants and the Official Opposition Green caucus for improving tenancy protections on PEI were presented to the Minister of Social Development and Housing.
“In our response to the briefing by Minister Trivers, we reiterated that we must begin from the standpoint that housing is a human right,” said Karla Bernard, Official Opposition Critic for Social Development and Housing. “Recognizing that housing is a human right sets a foundation and framework on which to strengthen families and communities through the Act. Without this recognition, we continue to treat housing as a commodity and further deepen the housing crisis.”
During the briefing, Official Opposition MLAs shared with the Minister what Islanders have identified they need to ensure their housing rights are protected. Among the changes the Official Opposition is proposing on behalf of Islanders are:
- Expressly recognizing housing as a human right;
- Establishing a rental registry;
- Allowing pets in units;
- Implementing caps on rent increases;
- The appointment of a tenant representative to assist tenants with IRAC proceedings;
- Improving the treatment of tenants who are struggling financially;
- Maintaining the moratorium on renovictions and ensuring tenants have the right to make submissions to the Director of Residential Tenancy regarding an application by the landlord seeking permission to issue an eviction notice; and
- Creating a regulation-making power to prescribe property maintenance standards for residential premises under the Act.
“I was pleased to hear the Minister indicate these were things he thought could be introduced,” said Bernard. “I hope he follows through and supports the changes that Islanders are asking for and the Opposition is fighting for. However, if the Minister is unwilling to do so, I will be pleased to represent the people of Prince Edward Island and introduce the necessary changes to recognize housing as a human right and ensure tenants can live in dignity and security.”