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N.S. to spend more than $1-billion to build 40,000 housing units

By Steve MacArthur Oct 23, 2023 | 11:51 AM

The government is prepared to spend more than $1 billion to help create more than 40,000 new housing units across the province.

The PC’s housing plan comes as rent is skyrocketing as our population grows while pushing down a vacancy rate that sits well below one per cent.

Housing Minister John Lohr insists the only solution to solve the rental crisis is to create more supply.

“We know that a healthy rental market has a vacancy rate of three per cent. So it’s our goal to bring the rate back up to that level of affordability,” explains Lohr. Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This plan was not built in a boardroom. It was crafted with input from the voices of thousands of Nova Scotians representing our province’s rich diversity. Our vision for the future is clear – more Nova Scotians will have access to safe and affordable housing, faster. Our future is bright.”

The plan captures feedback from 21,000 Nova Scotians, 115 employers and more than 100 organizations.

Meantime, a new report on housing needs by a planning firm shows the current pace of construction, which is adding 6,000 units each year, is not moving fast enough.

“This assessment is a significant information resource that will support the provincial government and communities across Nova Scotia in responding to housing issues.” said Andrew Scanlan Dickie of Turner Drake & Partners Limited. “The overarching lessons must be that the current housing challenges are the result of both recent and long-running trends, they will not be resolved without sustained attention and investment, and the private, public, and non-profit sectors of the housing system all have crucial roles to play.

The assessment reveals a shortage of 41,000 units by 2027-28 if aggressive action is not taken.

Since 2022, the province has made almost $300 million in housing investments but Lohr fells the overall investment to relieve pressure from the housing crisis will top $1-billon in the next five years.