As the housing crisis in Halifax continues to impact low-income and marginalized tenants, all three levels of governments came together to make sure more people out of the cold.
The Nova Scotia government announced on Monday it is joining its municipal and federal counterparts’ housing initiative, with a $1.8 million contribution. The federal government is pitching in $8 million through the Rapid Housing Initiative.
“This is indeed a big step towards addressing our affordable housing issue, and we’re happy as a province to support that,” said Housing Minister Chuck Porter in the morning announcement.
Adsum For Women and Children, the North End Community Health Association, and the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre will be the beneficiaries of the funding.
The province says this initiative will establish 52 new affordable housing units.
Adsum will receive about $4 million for 25 units, while the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre will get $2.9 million for 17 rooms, and the NECHA is set to receive $1.2 million for 10 rooms.
“The projects will include a focus on people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness including Mi’kmaq women and their children, African Nova Scotians and people with physical disabilities,” the province said in a news release.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said in Monday’s announcement the city would not have been able to allocate the contribution from Ottawa without the support of the province.
Savage said he believes all three levels of government managed to make this announcement quickly.
“This was a rapid housing initiative. It was rapid. When it was announced, some people thought we couldn’t do it; we don’t have the mandate, but to hell with the mandate.”
Pam Glode-Desrochers, executive director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, says she’s glad to see this collaboration between governments, but she says it’s only a start.
“It’s not even just necessarily putting (people) in a space, it’s making sure that the actual supports are there to help them — and that will keep them housed,” she said.
Along with 17 new rooms, Glode-Desrochers says the money will go towards operating their new shelter on North Park Street.
It’s expected that project will get underway early in the new year.