'Come Thursday I'll be homeless': P.E.I. woman struggles to find affordable housing
Lize Keenan says it's been 'impossible' to find affordable housing in Charlottetown within her budget
A Charlottetown woman says she's on the verge of homelessness because of the city's lack of affordable housing.
49-year-old Lize Keenan has lived in a motel in a tourist area outside of Charlottetown since the end of August 2016, but as of June 1st, the cost of her room will go from $680 a month, to $680 dollars per week for the summer season.
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"Come Thursday I'll be homeless. I'll be on the street," she said.
Keenan said she's been looking for an affordable one bedroom apartment for about four months within city limits but most are out her price range.
Keenan is on social assistance, and lives on a total budget of less than $900 a month.
"It's getting harder and harder, and I can't believe why," said Keenan of her search, saying most of the listings she's seen for Charlottetown are over $1,000 per month.
"Sometimes, there's $1,000 a month without lights. There are places out there, they want $2,000 and then you have to hook up lights. You just can't afford it, and then you have to eat on top of that. Groceries are expensive," she said.
'The lack of affordable housing is disturbing'
Last week, the federal and provincial governments pledged $7.2 million for affordable housing but those investments are geared toward housing for seniors and families fleeing abusive situations.
The MP for Charlottetown Sean Casey said that means some, like Keenen, are left out.
"It will be effective to those who benefit from it. There's always a question of whether it's enough, and it probably isn't," said Casey.
Casey said he encounters people like Keenan every day in his constituency office, who have to choose between paying for prescriptions, groceries and rent.
"The lack of affordable housing is disturbing," he said.
Casey said government is exploring solutions for affordable housing and combating poverty, like the basic income pilot project, but they won't likely come soon enough for Keenan.
'You cry a lot because you don't have any self worth'
"I feel like, you cry a lot because you don't have any self worth," said Keenan who likely won't have the option of staying at a shelter.
The only shelter for homeless women in Charlottetown closed down in 2012 and what's left is Anderson House, which has two beds dedicated to homeless women, but according to their mandate, families fleeing abusive situations take priority.
For now, Keenan will keep searching for a home but said she's not hopeful.
"I'm going to be homeless which scares the crap out of me."
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