Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission
Affordable housing is one of the most complex challenges Nova Scotians face today, and a problem exacerbated by the booming, record population growth and rising construction costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing prices are reaching record highs as home purchase rates grow, and low vacancy rates put upward pressure on the rental market.
The Liberal Government struck the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission in November 2020 to recommend immediate investment, legislative and structural initiatives that can be undertaken to make meaningful progress to improve the supply of, and access to, affordable rental housing.
National Housing Strategy
Partnering with the federal government, our government committed to the National Housing Strategy that will invest $105 million over the next three years to increase access to affordable housing and preserve and maintain existing housing stock.
This commitment also includes $70 million over that same three-year period for renewal of existing housing and supports for low-income homeowners. We have also funded $12 million in initiatives to support those experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and $6.4 million for social housing needs in communities across Nova Scotia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
$25 Million in Quick-Start Initiatives
The Affordable Housing Commission tabled its report on May 31, 2021. The Rankin Government accepted its recommendation to allocate $25 million on five quick-start initiatives to immediately increase supply and access to affordable housing. This investment included:
- $20 million New Affordable Housing Supply Fund
- $2.5 million Community Housing Growth Fund
- $2 million for the renewal and repair of existing public housing
- $500,000 to assist municipalities with housing needs assessments
We know that more needs to be done. We are currently analyzing the 17 longer term recommendations made by the commission.
A re-elected Rankin Government is prepared to take immediate steps to alleviate supply constraints and increase access to affordable housing in Nova Scotia.
Affordable Housing – Planning for a Long-Term Solution
While short-term action is necessary, we must consider the dynamics of our rental market today and plan for anticipated growth into the future.
A Liberal Government will develop a long-term provincial housing strategy that will map out a 10-year plan, including milestones and review periods, to ensure accountability and that we are meeting our goals and housing targets every step of the way over the life of this plan.
Comprehensive Review of Provincial Legislation
Empower our municipal, non-profit and private sector partners with modern and innovative tools to tackle the affordable housing challenge.
A Liberal Government will immediately begin a comprehensive review of provincial legislation and regulations, including the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, to create an appropriate legislative environment to reduce housing costs, including a thorough analysis of inclusionary zoning and its role in increasing supply of affordable housing units. We will direct the Department of Municipal Affairs to support municipal governments to complete a targeted assessment of the municipal development process to identify ways we can support local governments in their efforts to combat their affordable housing challenges.
Building Sustainable, Mixed-Income Multi-Family Residential Developments
A re-elected Rankin government will bring together provincial, municipal, non-profit organizations and private sector developers to create mixed-use projects that leverage a wide range of expertise and ideas. By prioritizing mixed-income developments we ensure affordable units are the same quality as market rate units and reduce the stigma associated with affordable housing.