Tenants Rights Rally in King’s Square this morning (Gary MacDonald photo)

A small group of people turning out for a late morning rally promoting better protection for tenants in the city. Supporters are calling on the Higgs government to step in with rent controls and better rights for tenants.

The issue has reached a boiling point with a flurry of sales of apartment buildings in the city in the past year. Once the sales are complete – tenants are either receiving notices of steep rent increases or notices to vacate due to planned renovations – something the group says is simply a “renoviction.” And they say it is becoming a common practice here in the city and elsewhere in the province.

The group says a lot of the apartments have been home for low income people – seniors – and those with disabilities. And they say as renovations are completed – these people simply can’t afford the higher end rents being charged.

They want the provincial government to put a 2% cap on rental increases – prevent evictions during the pandemic – and move on programs for more affordable housing.

Earlier this year – Premier Blaine Higgs said a review of the rental market and issues would take place over the next 90 days. The Premier has not indicated if the review is complete or when he will report on the results.