Homeowners in P.E.I. dissatisfied with government assistance
Rents are frozen in 2023, but the province promises homeowners lower property taxes.
There is a housing crisis in Prince Edward Island.
Landlords of rental properties in Prince Edward Island are disappointed with the help promised by the provincial government.
In December, the Progressive Conservative government announced a rent freeze for 2023.
The decision was made despite the recommendation of the City's Regulatory and Appeals Commission x27;Île, which suggested rent increases of up to 10.8% for units where oil heating is included.
In return for the rent freeze, the province promised landlords help. This support finally arrived on Wednesday. The provincial government announces a reduction in property taxes of up to $0.75 per $100 of property assessment.
Prince Edward Island Social Development and Housing Minister Matthew MacKay says now is an inappropriate time to raise rents in the province.
More , a program for owners of multi-unit buildings will offer discounts on heat pumps, insulation or the installation of electric water heaters.
Finally, a $10 million fund will allow homeowners to borrow money to cover the costs of purchasing and installing energy efficient equipment for the heating.
In total, these ads will cost the province $24 million: $4.5 million for rebates on heat pumps and insulation; $9.5 million for property tax reduction; 10 million for the heating program.
“This suite of programs will help landlords maintain their housing units, while current programs will support ongoing and future construction projects to continue to increase the overall supply of social and affordable housing on the market.”
—Matthew MacKay, Minister of Social Development and Housing
Government announcements were poorly received by some owners. Chris Leclair, Senior Advisor to the Residential Rental Association of P.E.I. didn't mince words.
“We are disappointed with what has been proposed, particularly in light of the extent of the losses landlords have suffered from the rent freeze .
We were asked for our opinion and we replied to the minister. We explained what a compensation program should look like. We based it on the loss of revenue from the rent freeze. These tax refunds are well below that, he added.
Chris Leclair says he requested a meeting with Minister Matthew MacKay and that his request is remained a dead letter. We asked for a meeting, but we never received an answer, he explains.
Chris LeClair, Senior Advisor for the Residential Rental Association of P.E.I.
Du side of the Green Party, official opposition in Prince Edward Island, we approve of the rebates on the installation of heat pumps or other electric water heaters.
This will mean that the cost of running properties will be reduced. We will get closer to our greenhouse gas emissions targets, says Hannah Bell, Green Party MP for Charlottetown-Belvedere.
Nevertheless, Hannah Bell stay on your guard. She says this program might be too generous to landlords if they can get a property tax refund, support for installing heat pumps and a rent increase all at the same time through a special application to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Board.
Because despite the rent freeze, landlords can still make a special request to the Island Regulatory and Appeal Board and get an exception to raise their rents by more than 10%.
“If landlords can ask for a rent increase, will they still qualify for these subsidies? »
— Hannah Bell, Green Party MP, Charlottetown-Belvedere
In my neighborhood, a group of tenants in an apartment building are going to see their rent go up by 42%. And that has already been approved, before the rent freeze was announced. Tenants must now appeal the decision, says Hannah Bell.
Landlords will not be eligible for the property tax subsidy for residential rental units. they apply to [the Island Regulatory and Appeals Board] and are granted a higher increase than allowed for 2023 rental rates. If a landlord applies for an increase to [the Commission], but it is refused, then he may still be eligible to receive the subsidy, reads a written response from the Department of Housing.
With information from Kerry Campbell and Steve Bruce, from < em>CBC