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.
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!
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!
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: https://sshac.wordpress.com/2019-federal-election
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
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.
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.
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.
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.