**** HRM Media Release
Municipality collaborating with province to address housing and homelessness
Following today’s announcement by the Province of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality confirms its ongoing commitment to collaborate with the Province of Nova Scotia in addressing housing and homelessness in our region.
The municipality is pleased with a number of measures outlined during this morning’s provincial press conference, including a commitment to fulfilling recommendations from the Affordable Housing Commission, the introduction of inclusionary zoning, more flexibility with municipal taxation measures, increased support for affordable housing, designation of provincial lands for housing in serviceable areas and wrap-around supports for those living in emergency accommodations.
The municipality also looks forward to receiving more detail from the province on the creation of a joint task force to facilitate approvals of large residential developments.
Well-established municipal plans and strategies have been informed by extensive public consultation – reflecting the values and vision of residents. Together, the Regional Plan, the Integrated Mobility Plan, the Centre Plan and the Rapid Transit Strategy are the culmination of years of strategic planning and efforts to manage infrastructure, develop sustainable communities and improve the range of transportation for residents.
In particular, the Regional Plan establishes long-range, region-wide planning policies outlining where, when, and how future growth and development should take place between now and 2031.
“Halifax has experienced unprecedented growth because we’ve developed plans and policies that create the kind of vibrant city that attracts people and investment,” said Mayor Mike Savage.
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. 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.
The municipality stands behind the current development processes but recognizes that shortening wait times for both small and large projects will further the goal of continuously improving service delivery. The municipality is prepared to work closely with the province to help advance this work, while maintaining a primary focus on the interests of its citizens.
“The province and the municipality share a responsibility to ensure all residents have an opportunity to realize their potential, to sleep in a warm bed under a secure roof,” said Mayor Savage. “I look forward to working with the Premier and the Minister in the days and weeks ahead.”
The municipality is also committed to continuing to work with private industry, residents, communities and key stakeholders to continue to advance a sustainable growth strategy for the Halifax region.
For more information on the municipality’s approach to homelessness and initiatives to support affordable housing, visit our website.