**** INFRASTRUCTURE/HOUSING Release
Province Addresses Short-Term Affordable Housing Recommendations
Infrastructure and Housing Minister Geoff MacLellan announced today, July 6, the province will invest $25 million to address immediate investments recommended by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission to increase affordable housing.
This investment will support new affordable housing units, repairs to public housing and building upgrades that will reduce emissions. The government will create an independent housing entity and look at modernizing laws and regulations around housing.
“Affordable housing is a key strategic sector that drives economic growth, improves the health of Nova Scotians and moves us closer to social equity,” said Mr. MacLellan. “This investment positions us to accomplish the commission’s short-term goals and I look forward to working with other levels of government, as well as the private and community housing sectors, to help more people have a safe, affordable place to call home.”
The funding includes:
— $20 million to support new affordable housing units
— $2.5 million for a fund, to be co-created with community housing organizations, to help grow the community housing sector and to add more affordable units
— $2 million for additional repairs and energy efficiency improvements to public housing
— $500,000 toward municipal efforts to complete housing needs assessments
The commission estimates that this investment will support between 600 and 900 households in housing need over the coming years. A call for proposals seeking innovative demonstration projects to create affordable housing units will open today. The first new units are expected to be complete in 12 to 18 months.
The Department of Infrastructure and Housing will work with other departments to update legislation and regulations, and all short-term recommendations made by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission are now underway.
“As housing regulators and the leaders who understand local challenges the best, municipalities are crucial partners for creating more affordable housing. Providing funding for needs assessments is a good place to start, but we understand that it is only the first step. Throughout this process we will remain committed to working together to find funding, make connections and overcome obstacles.”
– Brendan Maguire, Minister of Municipal Affairs
“We are very excited to see the province moving forward with all of the commission’s recommendations and doing so by endorsing the need for immediate investment. Even working together, the three levels of government and the non-profit and private sectors face a significant challenge in closing the affordable housing gap. The acceptance of our report and these first investments demonstrate the province’s commitment to the task at hand.”
– Jim Graham, member, Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission
“Today’s announcement that the province will invest $25 million to help address the immediate recommendations made by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission is welcomed news. It is an important first step that has the potential to set the province on a pathway to meaningfully addressing the housing crisis, especially through the development of more affordable community housing.
– Karen Brodeur, manager, Atlantic Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
— the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission was made up of 17 public, private, non-profit and academic experts from across the province
— commission members have been asked to continue to serve in an advisory capacity to government
— over six months, the commission heard from more than 2,000 Nova Scotians about the state of affordable housing and possible sustainable, long-term solutions
— The commission’s final report contains 17 recommendations and 60 actions to address housing needs in the short term, and over the coming years
Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission report and recommendations: http://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/affordable-housing-report-spring-2021
The commission’s What We Heard report: http://nsaffordablehousingcommission.ca/getinvolved
Demonstration project call for proposals: http://housing.novascotia.ca/programs/housingdemonstration
Housing Action Plan: http://housing.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/NS_Housing_Action_Plan_2019.pdf