The Province is taking an important step to remove systemic barriers and support community-based housing opportunities in four African Nova Scotian communities.
“African Nova Scotian communities have unique needs when it comes to housing. Historically, governments have not always engaged before making important program decisions,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr. “We’re working together to understand historical and existing issues that impact residents and identify options to create more sustainable community-owned housing opportunities now and in the future.”
A new memorandum of understanding with the Preston Area Housing Fund will launch discussions to address inequities and explore opportunities to support long-term housing needs in the area, including work to transfer up to 50 provincially owned housing units in Cherry Brook-Lake Loon, North Preston, East Preston and Westphal to the non-profit organization.
The government is also providing $3.5 million to support the ongoing repair, maintenance and sustainable operation of the units.
We’re committed to working with African Nova Scotian communities to find community-focused solutions. Organizations like the Preston Area Housing Fund know the needs and the strengths in their communities, and we want to give them the support they need to succeed.Pat Dunn, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs
Placing ownership of more housing directly in the hands of community is one more step to address systemic barriers and historic wrongs that have affected African Nova Scotian communities for generations. This process will create more opportunities to build equity and address housing security in our communities.Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs
We as a community have been waiting for such a long time for community members to participate in housing decisions, not having someone else make decisions for them. It’s important to have ANSA under Associate Deputy Dwayne Provo at the table, which allows the ability to talk openly and know that we will be listened to and understood. It is comforting that we will have someone in place that is looking out for the community and not taking from it.Bruce Johnson, board member, Preston Area Housing Fund
- the units under consideration for community ownership were developed under a variety of federal and provincial housing programs that no longer exist
- discussions will be initiated in other communities where similar opportunities may exist at a later date
- the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission recommended collaboration with underrepresented communities to support removing barriers to home ownership and affordable housing opportunities
Nova Scotia’s affordable housing plan, A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Housing and Homelessness: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/solutions-housing-and-homelessness/
Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission final progress report: https://beta.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/documents/1-3155/nova-scotia-affordable-housing-commission-final-progress-report-august-2022-en.pdf
Mandate letter of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-MAH-EMO-MR.pdf
Land Titles Initiative: https://novascotia.ca/land-titles/
African Heritage Month official website: https://www.ahm.bccnsweb.com/wp/home/