Affordable Housing – Increasing & Maintaining the Affordable Housing Supply

  • Committing up to $25 million to rebate the provincial portion of the HST on construction costs for new affordable housing units.
  • Amending legislation to provide municipalities with the authority to offer property or commercial tax incentives for affordable housing developments.
  • Consulting the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia on the creation of a provincial loan fund for non-profit housing organizations.
  • Expanding housing options available to include secondary suites, garage loft, tiny homes, and other non-traditional forms of housing.
  • Introducing renter protections, requiring compensation equal to up to one month’s rent for each year lived in a dwelling place (up to 6 months), for renters displaced from their homes due to “renoviction.”

Rebate Provincial Portion of HST on Construction of Affordable Rental Units

The cost of new housing developments includes government fees and taxes that can account for more than 20 percent of the construction cost of a new unit. These costs are passed on to tenants and drive up rental prices upward.

A Liberal Government will rebate the provincial portion of the HST on construction costs for new affordable housing units, committing up to $25 million to a pilot program in each of two years that will incentivize construction of new affordable housing units. Our government will ask the Affordable Housing Commission to provide advice on the eligibility criteria for this program.

We will also amend legislation to provide municipalities with the authority to offer property or commercial tax incentives for affordable housing developments, enabling municipal governments to help lower the cost of housing construction.

Provincial Loan Program for Non-profit Housing Organizations

Our government recognizes the need to balance initiatives to increase the supply of affordable units with efforts to make sure that the existing stock of affordable units remains affordable.

A Liberal Government will consult the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia on the creation of a provincial loan fund for non-profit housing organizations. This will facilitate the acquisition of rental properties that are being sold or risk being converted to market-rate housing. This will allow our non-profit housing sector to maintain these units as affordable or to convert them into social housing.

Non-Traditional Forms of Housing

Encouraging innovation in the affordable housing space is critical to achieving our goal of increasing housing supply, by leveraging new and non-traditional models of construction and living spaces. Thinking beyond traditional forms of housing can help provide affordable rental units targeted to single persons and our seniors.

A re-elected Rankin Government is committed to expanding the housing options available to include secondary suites and garage lofts, tiny homes and other non-traditional forms of housing.

We will explore innovative forms of funding, like forgivable and repayable loans for homeowners that want to add affordable, non-traditional rental and housing options to their existing properties. A re-elected Rankin Government will also provide support for single-room occupancies such as boarding houses in areas of need.

Renter Protections

Housing insecurity has become an increasing challenge for tenants, especially low-income renters, in our current housing environment. An increasing number of tenants have been displaced from their homes so buildings can be renovated. Additional protections for renters are needed.

A re-elected Rankin Government will require compensation for renters who are displaced from their homes due to “renoviction”. Tenants will be eligible for compensation from the landlord equal to one month’s rent for each year they have lived in their current dwelling place when a landlord gives notice to quit to allow for renovations.

 

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