Affordable housing units in Lantz part of provincial investment

Brian Wong is the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank MLA. (Healey photo)

LANTZ: A development underway in Lantz by the Shaw Group will have close to half of it’s units dedicated as affordable housing, the province announced in a release on Nov. 22, National Housing Day.

The announcement was to be made in person at a press conference in Lantz, but the forecasted weather with rain cancelled the in-person announcement.

The development in Lantz is one of three across N.S. that will see N.S. invest $6.4 million for 200 new affordable rental units. The others are in Kentville, Halifax, and Cole Harbour.

In Lantz, 40 of the 85 units in a development by Shaw Group will be dedicated to affordable housing. This means the unit will rent for at least 20 per cent below market value.

The same can be said for units in Kentville (100 unit development, all units affordable, by Tiny Home Development, RFL Group); and in Halifax (38 affordable units in a 100-unit development by Art House Lofts, Sidewalk Real Estate Development.)

The Province has also issued a call for partnership for an affordable housing project to be built on provincial land on Circassion Drive in Cole Harbour. It is expected up to 15 affordable housing units could be built on this land.

“This is only the beginning. We’ll be announcing more affordable housing projects in the coming months in communities across Nova Scotia and making provincial land available for affordable housing developments,” said Advanced Education Minister Brian Wong, on behalf of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr.

“The need for more housing supply is urgent. Nova Scotians need us to act quickly, and we are.”



The Province is also announcing over $400,000 to help five community housing groups that are working to increase affordable housing in the province:
— Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
— Portal Youth Outreach Association, Annapolis Valley
— Transition House Association of Nova Scotia
— Upper Hammonds Plains Community Land Trust
— Urban Neighborhood Development Association

As well, Portal Youth Outreach Association will receive nearly $190,000 for upgrades at three youth shelters, in Kentville, Windsor and Middleton. And Shelter Nova Scotia will receive about $84,000 for upgrades at Metro Turning Point and Barry House, two Halifax shelters.

Quotes:
“The Shaw Group is extremely pleased to participate with the Province of Nova Scotia on this affordable housing project. There is a definitive need for affordable housing in every community in Nova Scotia, and we are delighted that our community in Lantz can be part of this effort.”
     – Dean Robertson, CEO, The Shaw Group Ltd.



“This is a great step for our community stakeholders and municipalities in the Annapolis Valley. The dream of people of all ages – thriving in safe, nurturing and secure homes – is one step closer.”
     – Russ Sanche, Executive Director, Portal Youth Outreach Association

“The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, in partnership with the Community Housing Management Network, is pleased to continue our work with the Province to find solutions to sustain and grow the co-operative and non-profit housing sector in Nova Scotia.

“This funding, combined with our collaborative approach, will be instrumental in the development of a community housing land trust model that meets the specific needs of Nova Scotians.”
     – Karen Brodeur, Manager, Atlantic Canada, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada



Quick Facts:
— the Affordable Housing Commission recommended mixed-income developments be prioritized as the Province builds more affordable housing
— the projects listed above will all be mixed-income, and they were chosen because they are on municipally serviced lots with access to transit and nearby amenities
— in Halifax, it’s estimated a one-bedroom unit will rent for $1,016; in Kentville, rents are estimated to be $1,200 a month for two- to three-bedroom homes
— the vacancy rate in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is 1.0 per cent; the provincial vacancy rate is 2.1 per cent
— the average rental rate in HRM increased by 4.1 per cent in 2020

Additional Resources:
Nova Scotia’s affordable housing plan, A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Housing and Homelessness, is available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/solutions-housing-and-homelessness