Province launches study to determine extent of the need for affordable housing

The Province has launched a study to determine the extent of the need for affordable housing in Nova Scotia.

Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. has been awarded a $406,310 contract to study housing needs in Nova Scotia’s 49 municipalities. The company will assess current and future housing needs in urban and rural areas, help identify the number of households that currently lack safe, affordable housing for various reasons, and propose solutions.

“We know we need to increase housing supply to meet demand in Nova Scotia. We also need reliable, up-to-date information about where and what the needs are so the Province and municipalities can make smart policy decisions,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr. “This study will give us that data and takes action on the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission recommendation to improve the information available on the rental housing market in Nova Scotia.”

The study will also include a needs assessment for post-secondary student housing in communities with at least one university or college campus.

As part of this housing needs assessment, Turner Drake will engage with municipalities and other key stakeholders over the coming months. The company will share early data with the Province as it becomes available, and the final report is expected in one year.

The Province has also awarded a contract to Akoma Holdings to complete a housing needs assessment for African Nova Scotian communities. This will include an analysis of environmental racism and systemic barriers to finding housing. The information gathered from the assessment will assist in developing a housing strategy for African Nova Scotian communities.

“Good decisions are a result of the collection and use of good data. We are pleased the Province is moving forward with the crucial data collection that is needed to plan for sustainable and affordable housing in our communities.”
     – Amanda McDougall, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities

“For too long, Black Nova Scotians have faced housing issues due to systemic racism. From fractured land titles to basic infrastructure, our community has been overlooked and bypassed in the housing market and now crisis. Partnering with the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition and vested community members, AKOMA is proud to be part of this initiative to break down these barriers and build up Black families.”
     – Veronica Marsman, Property Manager, Akoma Holdings Inc.

“The issues with affordable housing are complex. While an overarching understanding of the issues is important, each municipality and region is unique. I’m pleased that the Province is leading this vital initiative.”
     – Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Mayor, Municipality of the District of Lunenburg

Quick Facts:
— in 2021-22, the Province invested more than $35 million to create over 1,100 new affordable housing units across the province, including 425 rent supplements
— Budget 2022-23 contains $15 million more for affordable housing programs and funding for 550 new rent supplements
— the Province now offers more than 5,500 rent supplements every month to help Nova Scotians with the cost of rent

Additional Resources:
A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Housing and Homelessness:

Mandate letter of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission Report:

Source: Release

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