Montague wants substandard housing legislation

Steve Sharratt
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Montague Town Hall

MONTAGUE — The deplorable condition of some rental housing units across the province has prompted eastern P.E.I.’s largest town to call for legislation aimed at eliminating the problem.

“It was a real eye-opener to see the condition of some of these places,” said Mayor Richard Collins. “No one should have to live like that.”

Collins attended the Affordable Housing Summit recently held at the Holman Grand Hotel in Charlottetown and extended congratulations to Mayor Clifford Lee for initiating the day-long session.

“I agree with Mayor Lee who said we pay more attention to tourist accommodations,’’ he told town council here. “We have stringent rules for any place rented out to a tourist, but yet have no requirements when it comes to domestic rentals in this province.”

During the summit, photographs were displayed showing homes in the capital city that were in “horrible” condition. Some apartments had ceilings falling down due to water leaks, wiring hanging from ceilings and blankets covering smashed windows to keep out the cold. One apartment had water coming in from a hose and rodents were unwanted house guests.

Lee wants homes inspected more regularly, but Montague town council insists provincial legislation should be implemented and a provincial inspector put in place.

Provincial housing co-ordinator Bill Fleming told The Guardian the problem is complex since in some cases there are few lodging alternatives. It’s estimated there are hundreds of homes in Charlottetown in unacceptable condition while the waiting list for affordable family housing in the city tops out at 300.

“I make a motion that we press the government for the implementation of a rental inspector,’’ said Coun. Jim Bagnall, a former MLA. “This type of thing should really fall under legislation somehow.”

Councillors were shocked at the details revealed from the housing summit and were uncertain if such inadequate housing existed in Montague. The summit was told poor condition housing exists in Charlottetown and Summerside more often because of the migration trend towards larger centres.

Organizations: Affordable Housing Summit, Holman Grand Hotel, Montague town council

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Eastern P.E.I., Summerside

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Recent comments

  • Curious
    December 16, 2013 - 09:23

    Curious as to what the rent would look like if the (so called) slum land lords had to keep repairing their units to expected standards for newer units . These lower level units are usually rented by lower class of people that wreck them because they don't value someone's else property & welfare will not pay damage deposit or month in advance . I guess the (so called) slum land lords are dammed if they do(loss of money for repairs)as well as dammed if they just try to make end's meet to pay mortgage . I really don't know why they even try to stay in the business . I have seen apartments with the cupboard doors tore off , light switches & plugs taken when tenants moved on after not paying the rent for several months . They can't be put out in winter & they know all the rules to screw their landlord . LOL

  • Curious
    December 16, 2013 - 09:22

    Curious as to what the rent would look like if the (so called) slum land lords had to keep repairing their units to expected standards for newer units . These lower level units are usually rented by lower class of people that wreck them because they don't value someone's else property & welfare will not pay damage deposit or month in advance . I guess the (so called) slum land lords are dammed if they do(loss of money for repairs)as well as dammed if they just try to make end's meet to pay mortgage . I really don't know why they even try to stay in the business . I have seen apartments with the cupboard doors tore off , light switches & plugs taken when tenants moved on after not paying the rent for several months . They can't be put out in winter & they know all the rules to screw their landlord . LOL

  • don
    December 15, 2013 - 06:31

    Coun. Jim Bagnall, a former MLA said you want a "rental inspector" great idea but that would be a "patronage" job so what good is it he/she would answer to the scum lords so we are NO farther ahead. it is a great idea but if it was me i would want a contract saying i can not be fired for any reason and the government has NO control over my ruling on fines or complaints against a landlord NO mater ho he or she is. cause you know the scum lords will be complaining to ghiz and would want me out as i would be costing them money. for example, if i found a place that needs major repairs or bug infested they would be made pay for the renters to live in a motel till the work is done can you hear the roars?

  • don
    December 15, 2013 - 06:23

    scum lords will not stand for this idea. if ghiz passed the law then watch out for major rent increase to cover the costs and as it is now islanders can't afford a good place to rent. the scum lords needs the money to be able to live high on he hog. maybe they should live with the hogs or be forced to live in some of there apartments for a year.

    • don
      December 15, 2013 - 18:03

      they are doing that now. it is called condo's. and any cost must be covered by the scum lord with NO increase for 2 years. and i would love that job and i'll tell you they would have a wanted poster of me in every store on PEI. as i would NOT pick favorites.