November 21, 2022
Honourable Mathew MacKay, MLA
Minister of Social Development & Housing Government of Prince Edward Island
P.O. Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE
It has been two weeks since you made a public commitment that residential rental property owners would be compensated for your government’s decision to arbitrarily overturn IRAC’s ordered rental increases for 2023. As you can appreciate, our members have faced the highest cost escalations in Canada and are struggling in 2022. IRAC’s 2023 increase was to allow the sector to correct the financial imbalance caused by inflation.
We have written to you outlining our expectations of what compensation would look like and offered to participate in discussions on how such funding could be implemented in an expeditious manner. We have had no response from your office.
In the interim, you have tabled legislation in the form of Bill 87, the Residential Tenancy Act. In addition to introducing arbitrary rental caps, this legislation takes PEI and makes it even more restrictive and prohibitive from the perspective of a residential rental property owner. In addition to a series of measures which will result in added costs to rental operators, we note with concern the further politicization of IRAC by having the Premier’s Office and Executive Council in charge of appointing the Director of Residential Property.
We wrote to your government on past legislative drafting efforts. Again, we had no response. One of the things we asked for was a proper evidence-based process to develop legislation. The previous drafting process was run by a PR firm with no expertise in rental legislation and/or policy. They offered no subject matter expertise, and the current act is a collection of comments from stakeholders. The legislation as it is currently drafted along with the zero % rental cap has completely undermined investment confidence in PEI from a rental accommodation perspective. Any ideas you have about the private sector stepping up to dramatically increase housing supply is erroneous.
This sequence of events has led to our association to make two requests of you and your government:
First, we ask that this legislation be placed before the appropriate standing committee for public input and analysis The impact this legislation will have on the willingness of property developers to build new housing supply will be hugely detrimental. Your previous consultation processes were deeply flawed, with our organization being asked to respond to concepts rather than actual legislation.
Second, we would ask that you provide us with a date where you would be prepared to come and meet with the general membership of our association. Such a meeting would allow you the opportunity to explain your new legislation as well as respond to members on how your compensation package will help them address the very real and immediate cashflow challenges they are facing because of inflationary pressures.
We will contact your office directly to secure a time and place for this meeting.