Let's Talk Affordable Housing!

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picture of a senior couple enjoying their new affordable home Southwestern Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission is looking at the current state of affordable housing in Nova Scotia and has been mandated to identify sustainable, and actionable long-term solutions to increase the supply of, and access to affordable housing. To help inform its recommendations, the commission wants to hear from you.

Please use the various tools available on this site to share your ideas or send us a written submission at affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca.

The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission is looking at the current state of affordable housing in Nova Scotia and has been mandated to identify sustainable, and actionable long-term solutions to increase the supply of, and access to affordable housing. To help inform its recommendations, the commission wants to hear from you.

Please use the various tools available on this site to share your ideas or send us a written submission at affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca.

  • Government to Evaluate Affordable Housing Commission Report, Recommendations

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    Government will begin evaluating the final report of the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission and discuss next steps with partners in the affordable housing sector and other levels of government.

    The report, submitted to government today, May 31, represents six months of work by the 17 commission members and thousands of submissions from Nova Scotians. It includes 17 recommendations, providing a road map with sustainable, long-term options for government and affordable housing partners.

    “I want to personally thank the commission and all Nova Scotians who took the time to participate in this important process,” said Infrastructure and Housing Minister Geoff MacLellan. “These recommendations will help us make evidence-based decisions about how to move forward. It is clear that affordable housing is a priority for Nova Scotians and it will continue to be a priority for government.”

    Quick Facts:

    • together, the federal and provincial governments are investing $513 million over 10 years in affordable housing projects and programs
    • in 2020-21, more than 1,800 low-income homeowners received assistance to make a home repair or adaptation
    • more than 3,100 households currently receive a rent supplement.

    Additional Resources:

    The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission final report: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/affordable-housing-report-spring-2021

    Housing Action Plan: https://housing.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/NS_Housing_Action_Plan_2019.pdf

  • Affordable Housing Commission Presents Recommendations

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    A new report prepared by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission details the province’s urgent need for improved affordable housing.


    The 61-page report, titled Charting a new course for affordable housing in Nova Scotia, includes 17 recommendations and 60 meaningful actions to the provincial government to help meet the diverse housing needs of Nova Scotians. The report was submitted to Infrastructure and Housing Minister Geoff MacLellan today, May 31.


    The commission calls on the province to implement a number of quick-start investments that include a $25 million commitment to support between 600 and 900 households in housing need in the very near term. While both short-and long-term action is necessary, these investments can help create immediate change at this important tipping point and pave the way for continued meaningful and transformational change to the province’s public housing model.


    The commission’s recommendations are rooted in its belief that everyone has the right to adequate housing and that housing is a critical sector of our economy and a social determinant of health. The recommendations are thoughtful, broad and balanced, and rooted in evidence and best practices. They chart a new course for resilient, vibrant communities in which all Nova Scotians can live in safe and affordable homes.


    Over the past six months, the commission has drawn on the insights and experiences of 36 experts and more than 2,000 Nova Scotians through an extensive public consultation process. This process included more than 1,200 survey respondents, more than 570 suggestions from the public online and more than 400 participants in virtual workshops and focus groups. The commission is grateful for those who shared their ideas and knowledge, helping inform the recommendations.


    The Affordable Housing Commission was formed by government in response to the province’s affordable housing crisis, which has been exacerbated throughout the pandemic. The commission was mandated to examine the current state of affordable rental housing and recommend meaningful action to ensure better affordable housing options for Nova Scotians. Its 17 appointed members come from various sectors and regions across the province and possess an array of experiences and ideologies.


    Quotes:

    “The pandemic has exacerbated Nova Scotia’s affordable housing crisis. Strong, decisive and immediate action from our government is needed. We call on the province to act now. There is no magic solution, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The one silver bullet is our ability to work well with each other, and as partners we can chart a new course to meet today’s demand and plan for tomorrow.”

    - Dr. Ren Thomas, associate professor at the Dalhousie University School of Planning and Affordable Housing Commission Co-chair


    “We heard from stakeholders that we must transform our public housing model to meet the diverse and changing needs of our population. Government housing organizations in other parts of Canada and the world have adapted and transformed to meet the needs of those they serve, and we have to do the same.”

    - Eiryn Devereaux, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Housing and Co-chair of the Affordable Housing Commission


    Quick Facts:

    -- 12.1 per cent of Nova Scotians lived below the poverty line (2019) – the second highest rate in Canada - and 11.4% (45,100) of Nova Scotian households are in core housing need.

    -- Almost 70 per cent of public housing tenants and 60 per cent of rent supplement clients in Nova Scotia are women. People of African descent and other racialized groups continue to experience systemic barriers when they try to access affordable housing

    -- Nova Scotia’s population grew from 942,970 in 2016 to 979,449 in 2021 (as of January 1), but the housing supply has not kept pace with demand


    Additional Resources:


    The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission final report: https://nsaffordablehousingcommission.ca/getinvolved


    Commission members: https://nsaffordablehousingcommission.ca/getinvolved/news_feed/commission-members

  • Consultation process has now closed

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    We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback to the Affordable Housing Commission over the past few months. Our consultation process has now closed. We are very pleased that so many stakeholders and concerned citizens took part if one or more of our engagement activities.

    In fact, our web portal has received more than 11,000 visits in just over three months, more than 1,200 individuals responded to our survey, and we've received about 400 written submissions, ideas, and comments. In addition, over 400 people participated in our online workshops and focus groups. Given the current situation, it is safe to say that you have done more than your part to inform our work and help shape our recommendations.

    What happens next?

    We are currently analysing the input we received though various channels to make sure that our recommendations reflect the ideas and opportunities that you shared with us. All feedback will be considered by the Commission.

    Once again, we want to thank you for your feedback on this very important topic.

    If you have any questions or for further information, write to us at affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca or by phone at 902-424-7099.



  • Deadline for Written Submissions Extended

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    Stakeholders now have more time to prepare their written submissions to the Commission. The deadline was originally set to April 15th, but to accommodate those who are still researching and working on their ideas, it has been extended to April 23rd.

    Download the Written Submission Guidelines


  • Discussion Guide for the online workshops now available

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    If you are registered for the upcoming online workshops, please take a moment to consult the discussion guide below. It will provide you with useful information to help prepare you to engage in this very important discussion with other housing stakeholders.


    To find a copy of the agenda for your session, please click on the link below:


    You can learn more about the work of the Commission and consult with other publications, studies, and documents under the Resources section.

  • Key issues emerge from stakeholders' feedback

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    The N.S. Affordable Housing Commission is making great strides through regular monthly meetings, and its sub-committees and work groups. After hearing from housing experts and examining the preliminary results of the feedback received through the online engagement hub, members have identified five key issues they will be exploring further through their work, to advance the Commission's mandate: New Affordable Housing Supply; Governance; Partnerships; Regional Variations, and Data.

    the Commission has identified three main guiding questions to help guide its work:

    1. What barriers need to be removed and what innovative approaches can we try to get more affordable housing to market, in all sectors?
    2. How can we ensure diversity in rental supply that serves a range of housing needs?
    3. How can all partners collaborate more effectively to create new rental supply and sustain existing affordable rental housing that is responsive to demand?

    Through the ongoing work, the Commission will develop recommendations to support the Province and its partners to work towards the ultimate outcome that sustainable, affordable, and inclusive rental housing exists for Nova Scotians in housing need. This vision is supported by three key pillars: Housing Supply; People & Communities; Partners & Governance (see image below).

    The Commission and its two sub-committees and two working groups are hearing from key experts, examining case studies of innovative models and approaches, and are conducting research to identify best practices across the country and internationally.

    Looking at available housing data for Nova Scotia, and information on populations in housing need, options are being developed to improve access to affordable housing, improve sustainability of existing affordable housing, accelerate new supply, and mechanisms to create ongoing structures for number, cross-sectoral approaches with innovative partnerships.

    These key questions will be further explored during the online stakeholder workshops beginning March 30, 2021. To participate in these sessions, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/nova-scotia-affordable-housing-commission-32818479429


  • The Commission will be hosting online regional workshops starting March 30

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    Help shape the future of affordable rental housing in Nova Scotia.

    Housing stakeholders are invited to share their ideas in an online regional workshop hosted by the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission.

    These sessions will be hosted from March 30 to April 9, 2021.

    Visit our registration page to join the workshop for your region, or if that timing doesn't work, join a different one.


    The Commission was created to engage with experts and stakeholders to learn more about the current state of affordable housing and develop recommendations to increase the supply of, and access to, affordable housing across the province.

    Input from these workshops, focus groups, an online survey, and other submitted ideas will be used to help develop the Commission’s recommendations. Their work will be presented to the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing by May 31.

    You are also encouraged to fill out our survey, share your ideas, map your community's housing needs and share your housing story.

    In addition, the Commission will host focus groups to hear from specific groups and sectors.

  • Webinars with Carolyn Whitzman and Steve Pomeroy

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    Canadian housing experts Carolyn Whitzman and Steve Pomeroy will provide insights into the latest research on affordable housing as part of the Affordable Housing Commission Speaker Series, in two upcoming webinars.


    CAROLYN WHITZMAN WEBINAR
    Friday, March 19, at 12 p.m. (ADT)

    Dr. Whitzman will speak about her research on global housing policies, with a particular focus on collaborative partnerships for affordable housing. Adjunct Professor at University of Ottawa, Dr. Whitzman is the author, co-author or editor of five books related to ‘the right to the city’ in both a contemporary and historical perspective. She frequently provides policy advice to local, state and national government and to the UN, including addressing the plenary at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador in September 2016.

    Watch Recording:


    BONUS** Q&A Session with Carolyn Whitzman





    STEVE POMEROY WEBINARSteve Pomeroy

    Tuesday, March 23, at 4:00 p.m. (ADT)


    Steve Pomeroy will speak about his most recent research on housing policies, with a particular focus on the importance of a balanced housing system and respective roles of the private and community sectors and community housing sector modernization and restructuring. These topics are extremely relevant to the work of the Affordable Housing Commission. Steve is a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for Urban Research and Education (CURE) at Carleton University. In 2013, he was awarded Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for his contributions to housing policy and research.

    Watch Recording



  • More Ways for Nova Scotians to Work with the Affordable Housing Commission

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    Nova Scotians now have more ways to help shape the future of affordable housing in the province. The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission has launched an online survey and will host a series of virtual public workshops with housing stakeholders in March and April.

    "Our province is growing and the need for a diverse supply of housing options has been clearly identified as a priority", said Infrastructure and Housing Minister Geoff MacLellan. "Now is the time to look at bold ideas to keep Nova Scotia one of the most affordable places to live and ensure that safe rental housing is available to anyone regardless of their income."

    Individuals and organizations are invited to share their knowledge and experiences by writing or emailing the commission. The survey is available at www.nsaffordablehousingcommission.ca and details of the workshops will be available on the website soon.

    The commission was created to engage with experts and stakeholders across the province to learn more about the current state of affordable housing and find sustainable, long-term solutions that build on the commitments made by the province under the National Housing Strategy.

    The feedback will be used to help develop recommendations that will be presented to government by May 31.


    Quotes:

    "The response we've received to the commission's work so far has been outstanding, and everyone involved is grateful for the time spent and effort made by people to submit their ideas and stories. We believe Nova Scotians still have more to offer and that's why we are leaving no stone unturned to try to get as much feedback as possible."

    - Ren Thomas, co-chair, Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission

    Quick Facts:

    -- rents cannot increase by more than two percent per year and landlords will not be able to get an eviction order for renovations until Feb. 1, 2022, or until the state of emergency is lifted, whichever is sooner

    -- government is investing $513 million over 10 years in affordable housing projects and programs under the National Housing Strategy

    -- over the past six months, more than 900 low-income homeowners have received a home repair or adaptation

    -- more than 2,700 households currently receive a rent supplement

    -- the recently announced Targeted Housing Benefit will help up to 1,700 households across the province

    Additional Resources:

    The commission can be reached at 1-833-743-0777 or by emailing affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca

    Nova Scotia Housing Action Plan: https://housing.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/NS_Housing_Action_Plan_2019.pdf

    Municipal Affairs and Housing Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/dma_ns

  • How can you get involved?

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    The Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission is committed to an open and transparent stakeholder engagement process that will foster a deeper understanding of the complexity of affordable housing challenges experienced by Nova Scotians; and uncover opportunities to improve the supply of, and access to affordable housing.

    We are providing several ways for stakeholders and citizens to share their views on housing issues and potential solutions for Nova Scotia.

    Through this online engagement hub, you can:

    • Share Your Ideas on a number of important areas to consider.
    • Map It! to show us where and what kind of need exists in your community;
    • Share Your Story on what type of housing is needed in your neighbourhood.

    Subscribe now to stay up to date on the work of the commission. We will send you emails periodically to share with you the latest information and let you know what we're hearing from Nova Scotians.

    In addition to the engagement tools available on this engagement hub, you can share your opinion with the commission by:

    1. Phone: Call the NSAHC toll free message line at 1-833-743-0777 and leave us a brief message about a specific challenge that requires attention or a solution that should be considered by the commission.
    2. Email: Send us a detailed description of your ideas or thoughts about how we can increase the supply of, and access to affordable housing at affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca.
    3. Snail Mail: Send your written submission to Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission c/o Mr. Stephan Richard Maritime Centre, 14th Floor North - 1505 Barrington St, PO Box 216, Halifax, NS, B3J 2M4

    No matter how you decide to get involved, we appreciate your participation in this important process.

Page last updated: 18 February 2021, 07:32