While there is a push for long-term affordable housing options, they take time to get into place. With the construction process, it can be a year or longer before a new structure is ready for anyone to move in. There are some recommendations for affordable housing options that focus on the short-term, taking care of the issue now for individuals and families.
According to Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, $15 million will be invested to take care of immediate needs in Nova Scotia. This province has a huge issue with affordable housing opportunities. This investment is going to help with repairing public housing and buildings that could then offer housing opportunities in the near future. These locations would be deemed safe for someone to reside in. The laws for such housing continue to evolve, ensuring the needs of those that rent them aren’t being ignored.
This investment money will also help with creating new housing units. The decision has been made affordable housing is a priority for economic growth and development. It is also imperative to the health and well-being of those living in Nova Scotia. Social equality is the goal, and that means efforts have to be conducted that offer short-term solutions for those struggling to afford a place to live.
MacLellan is eager to get started with this. He plans to work closely with many non-profit entities and government agencies to get everything moving in the right direction. He plans to talk with community housing directors and construction companies to see what can be done to get more affordable housing options in place in less time, without compromising the value they deliver or overall safety of those that reside within them.
The budget of the $25 million has the following breakdown for how the funds will be allocated:
- $20 million – new housing units that offer affordable rentals
- $2.5 million – Growth of the community housing options with more affordable units
- $2 million – Repairs and updates to existing public housing options to make them safe to live in
- $500,000 – Assessments for housing needs in this municipal
An anticipated 600 to 900 households will be supported in the next few years with these developments. Efforts continue to be in place for long-term housing options including projects to develop new structures with units. They should be available within the next year to 1 ½ years. At the same time, efforts are in place to update regulations and laws pertaining to affordable housing availability in Nova Scotia.
There are so many challenges and barriers in place to affordable housing, and this effort is just the start of what they hope will turn this problem around. The funding for assessments helps ensure the scope of the problem is understood and the help goes where it is needed the most. The latest report in this province on the issue offers 60 actions for housing needs and 17 recommendations to help with the short-term and long-term needs.