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Tenant union calls for rental caps and registry again amid soaring housing costs


Alberta ACORN will protest outside Boardwalk’s Head Office in Calgary on Saturday to demand measures for rent control in the province.

ACORN Canada say rent prices for a one-bedroom rental in Calgary have risen more than 27 per cent in the past year, one of the biggest hikes in the country.

The union group says an August 2022 report on is pricing the average two bedroom rental in Calgary at $1,934 per month.

“The result of this being that working people and families are being squeezed by the cost of housing more than ever before,” read a release.

“What tenants are going through is unacceptable for the province of Alberta,” said Central Calgary ACORN member, Fable Dowling.

“The lack of protections for tenants is forcing more people than ever before to struggle to keep a roof over their heads. We are your neighbours, friends and family members. We are new families, single parents, students, and seniors. The province of Alberta must protect us by enacting rent control now.”

ACORN is seeking a rent cap, an annual rent increase capped at inflation and a rental registry that tracks prices of every rental unit and whether they are rising at unaffordable levels.


However the Calgary Residential Rental Association says rent controls are not needed.

“Alberta and Saskatchewan are two provinces in this country that do not have rent controls and they have the most affordable rents across the country,” said executive director Gerry Baxter.

“We don't need rent controls here, the free market looks after it.”

Baxter added that rent controls would force investors away from the province, increasing prices further.

“If you want more housing to be built, it's the private sector that's going to build the majority of that housing,” said Baxter.

“But it won't happen if you put rent controls in because investors will take their money elsewhere and housing construction will grind to a halt. Therefore, the demand will increase, (while) the supply will decrease.”

Baxter added that landlords have been trying to keep tenants in troubling times over the last several years, but with a rebounding economy, landlords are trying to make up for lost financial ground.

“Landlords are able to increase their rents for really the first time in almost seven to eight years,” said Baxter.

“So they're kind going back up and people are unhappy. We know when rents go up. We quite often hear calls for rent controls but its very poor public policy and it really harms the affordability issue. It doesn't help but it has the reverse effect on it.”

The rally will take place at 12:00p.m. Outside the Boardwalk head office at 1501 1 St S.W. Top Stories

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