Government of New Brunswick

In January 2021, following concerns raised around affordable housing in New Brunswick, Premier Blaine Higgs called for a 90-day review of the rental landscape. He mandated the Clerk of the Executive Council Office and head of the public service, Cheryl Hansen, to look at existing data, listen to New Brunswicker’s lived experiences, and best practices from other jurisdictions.

A project team made up of representatives from nine provincial departments was formed. Over a three month period, the team engaged stakeholder organizations and residents throughout the province to share their experiences and perspectives, and analyzed evidence-based data. Tenants, landlords, developers, community advocacy groups, businesses, banks, municipal planners, and other stakeholders participated in the review, which included 19 engagement sessions, eight group workshops with over 170 attendees, and an online survey with over 5,500 responses. Their report was made public on May 7, 2021:

Review of the Rental Housing Landscape in New Brunswick

The Report concluded that, when looking at broader trends in the market, supply is increasing, housing remains relatively affordable when compared to other provinces, and the level of need has improved. However, current conditions do highlight to vulnerabilities that if left unchecked, could lead to broader housing crisis.

The review identified solutions that are already underway and put forward new recommendations that will:

  • help improve tenant and landlord access to government services,
  • enhance awareness of rights and responsibilities,
  • increase the supply of rentals,
  • modernize legislation and
  • help address the supply of skilled labour.
Rental Review Implementation Committee

The provincial government endorsed all the recommendations and established the Rental Review Implementation Committee is composed of the following departments and agencies:

  • Environment and Local Government
  • New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
  • Opportunities NB
  • Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
  • Service New Brunswick
  • Social Development
  • Transportation and Infrastructure

The committee proposed actions with specific timelines in four key areas:

  • Strengthen Existing Services
  • Increase the Supply of Rentals
  • Review and Revise the New Brunswick Residential Tenancies Act
  • Increase the Supply of Future Builders.