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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