What is the purpose of the NS Affordable Housing Commission

    The housing supply in Nova Scotia has not kept up with increasing demand which has put significant pressure on the housing market. Factors such as a booming economy and higher than normal immigration rates have led to record high rental rates and home prices. Halifax has been particularly affected by historically low vacancy rates which have priced some low-income renters out of their homes.

    We know that we must do more to increase the supply of and protect existing affordable housing, prevent eviction, and ensure that all Nova Scotians have a roof over their head. AHC is one of many initiatives we are pursuing with these goals in mind.

    What will the commission do?

    The commission will engage with experts and stakeholders across the province to learn more about the current state of affordable housing in Nova Scotia and identify meaningful, sustainable, and actionable strategies and opportunities.

    After reviewing evidence and the input from stakeholders, the commission will make recommendations to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing related to increasing the supply of, and access to affordable housing in Nova Scotia. The Commission will be working quickly with the first set of recommendations due by May 31, 2021.

    Who is involved in the Commission?

    The commission is comprised of 17 members from across Nova Scotia who represent businesses, government, and the non-profit sectors. The Commission is co-chaired by Catherine Berliner, deputy minister of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Dr. Ren Thomas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Planning at Dalhousie University. You can click here to learn more about the commission members.

    How do you define affordable housing?

    According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), when a household spends 30% or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median local rent, it is said to be in core housing need. Those who spend 50% or more are considered in severe housing need. In addition to the affordability standard, CMHC also developed standards for adequacy and suitability to ensure households live in acceptable housing.

    How can I get involved in the work of the commission?

    The commission wants to hear from people who cares about affordable housing in Nova Scotia and wants to share their ideas or stories. Anyone interested can use the tools available on this website or send a written submission to affordablehousingcommission@novascotia.ca.