SSHAC shares rural perspective, concerns and opportunities with Provincial Standing Legislative Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development – February 25, 2021

The South Shore Housing Action Coalition was invited to participate in the February 25th meeting of the Provincial Standing Legislative Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development. We took this opportunity to raise concerns about rural housing realities and offer some opportunities for action. If you are interested, you will find the video of the meeting, and our written submission to the Committee below.

News Coverage of Committee Proceedings:

Province told that rural N.S. has ‘affordable housing crisis’

N.S. ignores affordable housing lessons provided by other jurisdictions, prof says

Rural N.S. in housing crisis but shut out of decision-making, South Shore woman says

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2020 Municipal Elections

Municipal elections are happening on October 17th across Nova Scotia this year. Access to healthy, safe and affordable housing options for all members of our communities is a growing challenge. Municipal governments can take action to support the development of affordable housing options and advocate for housing resources.

SSHAC has pulled together a short briefing on housing, which may help start a conversation about what is needed here, now.

If you have a chance to speak with a candidate directly, or participate in a candidate forum, consider raising housing as a concern!

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Keeping In Touch: Federal Election Edition of our Newsletter

The latest edition of Keeping In Touch, our newsletter is now available! Check it out for updates about SSHAC, housing wages in our region, co-living, and responses from the Federal Election Candidates about housing in our region!

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Housing and Homelessness as Federal Election Issues

Now that the 2019 Federal Election Campaign is underway, we are encouraging residents and organizations in our communities to join us in raising awareness about housing and homelessness concerns locally and beyond. As we have done in the past, we have developed a quick two page fact sheet that outlines some of the housing and homelessness challenges in our communities, and offers some questions residents can pose to candidates about how they would work with community to respond. Learn more here:

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Housing Wage: Lunenburg and Queens Counties

In July 2019 the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released their report, “Unaccommodating: Rental Housing Wage in Canada”. This report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental housing wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average one bedroom apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Nationally, the rental housing wage is $22.40/hr for an average priced two-bedroom apartment and $20.20/hr for an average priced one-bedroom apartment.  For Halifax, it is slightly higher at $22.57/hr for the average two-bedroom apartment.

Unfortunately housing market data is not collected for our region, so it is not possible to determine the average costs of rental units by size.  However, 2016 Census of Canada data for our region does provide us with some information about housing in our communities, including rates of core housing need and the average monthly shelter costs for both renters and owners, which provide a sense of the housing situation across our communities.  Read the report to see the housing wage required to afford the average rental and home costs in our region.

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Short Term Accommodations: Status Reports

As the Short Term Accommodation (STA) market continues to grow in our region, the rental hosing market is feeling the pressure. To support understanding about the extent to which the STA market is influencing availability and affordability of rental housing in our region, we have prepared STA status reports for each of our Towns and Municipalities.

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Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of Minimum Housing Standards in Nova Scotia

How effective are current minimum housing standards in municipal units across Nova Scotia in achieving the outcomes intended?  What are the opportunities to improve the standards and living conditions for residents?
These are some of the questions addressed in this research report recently completed by Nikolas Wensing, a Master’s of Planning student from Dalhousie University’s School of Architecture and Planning.

One Page Overview of the Research Project

Full Report: Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of Minimum Rental Housing Standards in Nova Scotia

Evaluating Minimum Housing Standards in NS

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Deepening Our Understanding of Rural Housing Needs

Housing coalitions, community stakeholders and municipal units covering Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings, and West Hants Counties recently completed a housing needs assessment.  This collaborative project has produced a series of reports to support further understanding of the complex and diverse housing challenges encountered in our rural communities and are intended to support innovation and action.  Learn more here.

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Housing Alternatives: What could work here?

We’ve been curious what housing alternatives could our communities support?  We did some digging and have pulled some options together that we believe could work.  Check them out, here:

2018 Housing alternatives for Lunenburg County FInal_2

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Lunenburg and Queens Counties Households, Housing and Income: Census Highlights 2006-2016

SSHAC is pleased to share our Census Highlights report about households, housing and income in Lunenburg and Queens Counties. The report (available as a combined report, or as individual reports) looks at Census data from 2006, 2011, and 2016 to help support our understanding of housing related issues in our communities.

HHI 2018

Households, Income and Housing 2016

Lunenburg County

Chester 2016 Profile

Mahone Bay 2016 Profile

MODL 2016 Profile

Town of Lunenburg 2016 Profile

Town of Bridgewater

Queens County

RQM 2016 Profile

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