**** HRM Media Release
Statement regarding collaboration with Province of Nova Scotia on housing solutions for the Halifax Regional Municipality
The following is a statement from the Halifax Regional Municipality regarding its intent to work with the Province of Nova Scotia to ensure the recommendations from the Affordable Housing Commission are implemented. The province has indicated its intention to adopt those recommendations and the municipality lauds that decision as we continue to collaborate on housing solutions that support growth in the Halifax region.
New growth can be supported immediately, both for ground-based and apartment-type units. Under existing municipal regulations, approximately 56,000 residential units can be built without any changes to policy or land use by-laws. There are approximately 19,000 units that could proceed today – where municipal approvals have already been granted by Development Agreement or Site Plan Approval and there are 4,010 units currently under construction. Over the past five years the municipality has approved an average of 3,600 new units each year. Approximately 37,000 units could also begin construction through Building Permits or Site Plan Approvals as part of Centre Plan for which the municipality anticipates receiving provincial approval before the end of this year. These figures do not include land that can be developed under current zoning in the suburban or rural areas of the municipality.
The rate and volume of development approvals does not directly correspond with the immediate construction of new units by private companies. The municipality also supports the supply of housing construction by endeavouring to reduce permit and approval wait times.
The municipality’s Regional Plan sets out to identify where growth should occur and how development across the region should be organized, in a way that furthers community goals and builds a healthy, thriving economy. The plan is undergoing a regular review with a key outcome being how we can support a healthy supply of housing given our current and future rate of growth. This work, planned for completion in 2022, will help Regional Council to set out where and how the municipality should continue to grow in a strategic manner that protects its fiscal, environmental, and social health.
The municipality looks forward to working with the province, private industry, residents, communities and key stakeholders like the Halifax Partnership to continue to advance a growth strategy for the Halifax region.
For more information on the municipality’s Regional Plan and efforts to support growth in the region, see here.