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Housing minister says there’s still work to be done on the provincial housing strategy

By Joe Thomson Aug 10, 2023 | 2:25 PM

Premier Tim Houston and John Lohr, Housing Minister, speak at a media conference in September, 2022.

The provincial government still has some work to do on their upcoming housing strategy.

During today’s provincial cabinet meeting housing minister John Lohr said that the strategy will be released sometime in August or September, but that they’ve made an addition to it and there’s still work to be done.

The ongoing housing crisis has forced many Nova Scotians into homelessness. The Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia says that about 977 people are currently homeless in Halifax alone, and a recent survey from the Elizabeth Frye Society for Mainland Nova Scotia showed that 178 people are sleeping rough in the HRM, meaning in tents, abandoned buildings, on benches, etc. For these people, waiting with bated breath for the province to share the housing strategy means more nights spent outside as cold fall weather lurks around the corner.

Lohr said that government is open to any and all solutions to improve the housing situation, but that the only true fix is building more homes.

“We’re doing everything we can and if there are more things that we can do, we will do that, too. Obviously… the only real solution is more housing supply” said Lohr.

While building more homes sounds like a simple solution, there’s obviously a lot more that goes into how those spaces are allocated to people in need of housing. Before the province can even begin to try and solve those issues, they need to get around the problems facing the homebuilding and cinstruction industry.

“We’re working across the province in many ways to increase supply. Everything’s happening at the same time, just a shortage of skilled labor, interest rates are rising. So, it’s a challenge for us all but we haven’t abdicated our responsibility,” said Lohr.


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