CTV News Atlantic: ‘This is scary’: Advocate says housing demand in Halifax is up over 2021
Posted August 30, 2022
Halifax is facing a bigger housing problem than it did last year at this time, according to local housing advocates.
“It’s up about a third from last fall,” says Jim Graham, the executive director of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia.
Graham says his organization has a development that is close to being ready for occupancy.
“Rapid housing initiative projects that started last year are coming online. They’ll be ready between, I’d say, the first one could be occupied in October, maybe the end of next month,” he says.
This weekend, Adsum House — a shelter for women and children in Halifax — sent out a tweet highlighting the need that exists.
“This is scary,” the tweet read. “Shelters are full. Twenty-three hotels we called are full. Airbnb’s did not pan out. There’s no place for a family to go in Halifax tonight besides a tent.”
This is scary. Shelters are full, 23 hotels we called are full, Airbnbs did not pan out. There’s no place for a family to go in Halifax tonight besides a tent. @TimHoustonNS at what point do you acknowledge the housing emergency and take action? #housing #housingisahumanright
— Adsum for Women & Children (@adsumforwomen) August 28, 2022
The YWCA — an organization that “builds economic security, promotes wellness, and creates opportunities for women and girls” — says it’s seeing an increase in demand for its services.
“Our intake worker had 150 people ask her for housing in a six-month period,” said YWCA executive director Miia Suokonautio. “We’ve got housing support workers whose job it is to support people to move into market housing. They can’t find units and people can’t afford those units.”
The province has identified a number of parcels of land suitable for developments, including affordable housing units, however, these projects are years away.
Anti-poverty group Acorn is calling on the Houston government to immediately implement permanent rent control and put a ban on so-called renovictions.
“Those are two things he could do right now, that are not something where we might see the results in five to 10 years,” says Acorn spokesperson Freyja Beattie. “That’s something that would make a difference right now, especially coming into the winter season.”
In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Provincial Housing Minister John Lohr said Nova Scotia is facing growth it hasn’t seen in decades.
The spokesperson said the department is taking decisive action, working with other levels of government and community partners.
Article by Jonathan MacInnis for CTV News