Brunswick Street Housing residents facing eviction after Liberals cut subsidy

December 1, 2015

Residents of Brunswick Street Housing, such as Shirley Joyce, are facing eviction after the McNeil government and Housing Nova Scotia cut their subsidy on August 1, 2015.

Ms. Joyce, a senior, has lived in the building for 30 years. After the subsidy was cut her monthly rent increased by almost $300 and she has been unable to keep up with her bills. On Friday she was handed an eviction notice and told she had two weeks to vacate her apartment.

“I have no idea what I’m going to do,” says Joyce. “In two weeks I have no place to stay.”

Ursulla Kellum is single mother, who also lives in Brunswick Street Non-Profit Housing. Her rent increased from $670 to $870 per month after the subsidy was cut by the Liberal government.

“The elimination of the subsidy has really affected me. I chose Brunswick Street Non-Profit because it fit within my income level and the rent left me with enough money so I can be comfortable financially to provide other things for me and my son. Living in a co-op was something important to me because of the sense of community and a feeling of ownership of my own home. Since the loss of my subsidy – I feel just that – lost,” says Kellum.

Maureen MacDonald says Minister Joanne Bernard has created a devastating situation by allowing this to occur.

“It’s just plain wrong that an 80-year women is being forced to leave her home of 30 years in the middle of winter because the McNeil government is no longer willing to provide a subsidy,” says MacDonald. “Minister Bernard has cut funding to charitable groups, she’s frozen income assistance for two years and now this. One really has question what her priorities are, because it’s clear she isn’t interested in supporting our most vulnerable citizens.”

Housing Nova Scotia has told residents that it is ending the subsidy because Brunswick Street Housing’s mortgage with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) matured this year. The government says it has no obligation to provide a subsidy now that the housing agreement between the province and the CMHC has expired.