The province is investing half a billion dollars over ten years to fund an affordable, long-term housing strategy.
The plan works by collaborating with different businesses and community groups to serve specific needs in each municipality. It aims at creating affordable home ownership programs to help young people and families, as well as initiatives to support seniors and persons with disabilities.
“Housing should be a national strategy, not just a provincial one,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “This is a broad based plan. It looks for our partners wherever we can find them, whether they happen to be in the for-profit or not-for profit sector. The fundamental of any housing strategy is simply this, if you broaden the base of your housing stock, if you provide more options, locations, better options for financing… you benefit everyone.”
“It’s a good starting point,” said Paul Pettipas, Nova Scotia Home Builder’s Association. “So, now we have a plan to move forward. We can fill in the details later, but we’ve never had a plan like this for housing.”
“There are some good things in it, but actually we’re quite disappointed to see they’re only spending seven million dollars more per year than they’ve spent over the past three years,” said liberal critic Kelly Regan. “There’s not a lot of details here today. They make a lot of promises, but there’s no actual brick and mortar here. We have a lot of people who are waiting for housing now, and there’s no targets.”
But community services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse isn’t concerned.
“We didn’t want to come in and say ‘this is the strategy, this is what we’re doing tomorrow,” said Peterson-Rafuse. “Because that would not be a collaborative strategy, this is about building the framework and doing more community planning.”
Peterson-Rafuse said the fall is when we’ll see some of these programs come into effect.