'Our family just got evicted from our house'

A grassroots meeting, calling itself the fight for affordable housing, had many people calling for better regulation of the housing market so that more affordable units are available.

'We loved our neighbourhood and now there are no places in Charlottetown to live'

Megan Dorrell says her family was evicted after living in a rental home for 7 years. She says it's been scary to lose her community and not have any options. (Laura Meader/CBC )

A grassroots meeting in Charlottetown Thursday night, calling itself the fight for affordable housing, included repeated calls for more regulation of housing in P.E.I. and more protections for tenants.

Megan Dorrell  said she lived in the same rental home for seven years but recently lost her home when a real estate agent offered to buy the property from her landlord.

"Our family just got evicted from our house," said Dorrell.

She calls the experience scary, saying they miss their neighbourhood but couldn't afford to stay. 

"We've always lived in this community and now we can't live in Charlottetown anymore."

'I didn't want to tell my son'

It was tough to keep life normal, Dorrell said, while dealing with the stress of losing the home she shares with her partner and her son.

"I didn't want to tell my son that we were moving until we had a place to live," said Dorrell.

Rosalind Waters used to work as a tenant advocate in other provinces. She calls the P.E.I. affordable housing market 'impossible.' (Laura Meader/CBC )

But when she saw how tight the market was she knew she would have to be honest.

"As it stands right now you cannot live in Charlottetown and be low income anymore," she said. 

'Tenants have really had no voice'

Presenters at the grassroots meeting talked about evictions becoming all too common – noting that properties were changing hands and becoming over priced or converted into short-term tourism rentals like Airbnb.

"Developers and landlords are able to ease tenants out of their apartments," said Rosalind Waters, a community advocate.

The fight for affordable housing meeting attracted about 80 people. (Laura Meader/CBC )

Waters helps find housing for people with intellectual disabilities and worked as a tenant advocate in other parts of Canada.  She said P.E.I. people living on low and modest incomes are being driven out of properties. 

"Some people are doing very well in the development industry while tenants are experiencing terrible disruption, and loss of homes," said Waters. 

"Tenants have really had no voice."

Waters said there is motivation now to form some kind of tenants organization to put pressure on government. 

More P.E.I. news


Laura Meader is a video journalist for CBC P.E.I.


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