Homelessness grows in Halifax as housing projects catch up with demand – Halifax | The Canadian News

The number of people currently experiencing homelessness in the Halifax Regional Municipality continues to rise amid government initiatives that community organizations say have been desperately needed for decades.

“We have about 150 deeply affordable, if not supported, housing units in development that will probably come online within a year and that’s a huge increase, but it’s not even half of what we need,” Kevin said. Hooper, manager of partnerships and community development with United Way Halifax.

In Halifax Regional Municipality, 472 people are currently homeless, according to Recent statistics.

Read more:

Halifax council agrees to increase modular housing budget by $1.2 million, but with concerns

The Nova Scotia Commission for Affordable Housing, launched under the Liberal government in November 2020, has just released an update on the action plan it has proposed to address long-standing housing issues.

The story continues below the ad

Some of those recommendations include doubling investment in the provincial Affordable Housing Program which aims to create 96 units in the next two years.

Recommendations also include investing $2 million in upgrading provincially owned housing and a $35 million announcement made last October to build more than 700 new affordable units in Nova Scotia.

“There was once a kind of clear public demand on a large scale for government action on this front. I would say that a lot of the actions, a lot of the initiatives that have been undertaken are really impressive in the context that we were used to,” Hooper said.

Read more:

Nova Scotia’s housing crisis: how the emergency has reached a boiling point

Hooper says that public pressure coupled with the pandemic have led to something of a tipping point on the housing front that governments can no longer ignore.

“There was a massive disinvestment in housing in the early ’90s. We stopped building public housing, we stopped subsidizing a lot of organizations and operations, and now we’re seeing the consequences of that. A generation has passed, and the issues have built and developed over the last 30 years,” he said.

Along with the launch of an emergency housing initiative by the Halifax Regional Municipality to build modular trailer units, the three levels of government have been mutually supportive of the Rapid Housing Initiative projects.

The story continues below the ad

The first round of those projects is scheduled to be completed this spring.

“I understand the real estate market, things take time to develop those pieces when it comes to building houses, but we have people living on the streets right now who need a roof over their head and we are not working as fast as we should. said Suzy Hansen, NDP MLA for Halifax Needham.

Click to play video: 'Campbell McClintock on the role of advocacy during the housing crisis in NS'

Campbell McClintock on the role of advocacy during the NS housing crisis

Campbell McClintock on the role of advocacy during the NS housing crisis – December 3, 2021

Hansen says that while he applauds the government’s commitments to housing projects, he feels that temporary supports that were introduced during the pandemic, such as the rent cap, need to be considered in the long term when it comes to policy changes.

“We think about families trying to figure out their next paycheck, and whether or not they’re going to have a roof over their heads and food for their kids,” he said.

The story continues below the ad

“We have to start thinking about the holistic piece together when we think about lifting something that we had in place with nothing to support it.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Leave a Comment