PEI housing official calls for 0% rent increase in 2023

Proposed legislation came in the wake of a rental regulator's announcement of a substantial hike

PEI housing official calls for 0% rent increase in 2023

Prince Edward Island housing minister Matthew MacKay has proposed a bill to limit the allowable increase on housing rentals to 0% for 2023.

The bill, which was tabled on November 1, received unanimous consent from MLAs. The proposed legislation would thus to move to second reading debate.

“I know the tenants can’t afford any more right now,” MacKay said. “I had hundreds of messages from tenants and they were all very polite messages, just saying we just can’t afford this.”

MacKay’s bill came in the wake of a hike announcement from Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. The regulator said that it would be setting the allowable rent increase for 2023 at 10.8% for oil-heated units and 5.2% for unheated units – the commission’s highest rates on record.

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“We understand the landlords have significant costs but we just can’t afford to take it anymore,” MacKay said. “We don’t have the money.”

MacKay added that the bill remains open to dialogue, saying that his department will continue to hold conversations with landlords to ensure that rising costs can be offset.

“What I said to the landlords is the only way we’re going to get out of this, we’re going to all have to work together,” MacKay said. “I want to work with the landlords now to listen to their concerns because I know this is not their fault and we need to support the landlords as well without increasing the tenants’ rental rate.”