Pictured – New Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre Shelter on College Under Construction
What’s Happened Since the Last Update
Modular update – With 24 of the 26 rooms at the Dartmouth site now completed, HRM has shifted focus to completing the Halifax modular unit site. This site will be able to accommodate 38 individuals, based on single occupancy. Site preparation is underway.
The timing of the opening of the Halifax site is dependent upon the Province, which is responsible for determining placement of individuals and providing wrap-around services onsite through its service provider.
I’ve decided not to hold a community meeting around the Halifax modulars until an operating agreement is in place.
Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) projects announced – HRM has been working with community partners to help those service agencies access Federal funding under the RHI program. selected these two projects which will bring 20 new affordable housing units to the community.
Global news reported “A hotel in Dartmouth is being converted into a housing project for homeless adults, including those who struggle with addictions and people just released from hospital.
Federal, provincial and municipal politicians announced funding Thursday to house 65 people at a converted Travelodge hotel — to be renamed The Overlook — that’s expected to open later this year.”
I’m hearing end of March. More here – https://globalnews.ca/news/8542575/dartmouth-travelodge-converted-housing/
Two other projects were announced this week. The first project, operated by Akoma on Main Street in Dartmouth, will provide eight residential units, while the second one, Souls Harbour will provide 12 in West Chezzetcook. These housing units will support those who are in uncertain housing situations, experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic. More here – https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/media-newsroom/news-releases/2022/canada-supports-rapid-housing-halifax
All told this second round of project will bring a total of 85 new affordable housing units to the community. The first RHI round funded 52 units of shelter type housing.
HRM has been providing regular updates the last couple of months, in addition to the monthly information reports that had been provided to Council as a part of our public agenda. You can find these updates here: https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/helping-address-homelessness/recent-ongoing-efforts
- Shelter NS Housing Hub – Since mid November Shelter NS has been operating a new service model where Housing Support Workers have working with both past shelter guests who they support to find housing and remain housed and a walk-in service for people not connected to Shelter Nova Scotia or other organizations and living rough. This program helps clients secure housing, as well as services ranging from haircuts, showers, laundry, and light meals.
- At the January 11, 2022 meeting of Regional Council, Council: adopted changes in policy to:
- support the inclusion of affordable housing in density bonusing for the entire regional centre
- approved initiating public engagement on the Southdale future growth node as a potential 700 unit affordable/attainable housing development
- and my motion to enable powers recently passed by the Province to provide financial assistance to a business if the financial assistance is for the purpose of increasing the availability of affordable housing, and to require affordable housing within developments through land use by-laws.
- On January 25, 2022, Council was the presented the “What We Heard” report regarding the Regional Plan. This plan sets out where and how HRM will grow for the next 20-50 years. For the first time projections show HRM may grow to more than 1 million people around or just after 2050. The entire dynamic of public and private housing, and growing in a just and equitable maner, starts with this plan review. You can watch the presentation and debate here: https://youtu.be/Y8l15lKKvDI?t=298 and read the report here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/220125cow05.pdf
- Extreme Weather shelter – HRM continues to support the Province’s Department of Community Services to address homelessness by providing access to municipal facilities as emergency shelters. On extreme cold or stormy nights the George Dixon Centre has been opened in the evenings to provide additional shelter beds. More: https://halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/helping-address-homelessness/recent-ongoing-efforts=
- These updates will continue every 4-8 weeks for the foreseeable future
- Overlook and Halifax modulars should be open in March
- Report on Rental Registration is expected to be debated at Council mid-February.
- The municipality is working toward some kind of MOU to clarify Provincial and HRM roles and responsibilities with regards to shelters and warming centres.