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CHF Canada makes recommendations to grow co-op sector in Nova Scotia

Published April 28, 2021

Like most cities in Canada, the cost of housing has grown faster in Halifax than incomes in recent years. And renters in rural areas are particularly feeling the squeeze, with fewer and fewer options in the province. Non-market options, like co-op housing, are essential to bring housing security and affordability to those who need it.

As the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission reviews the current state of affordable housing in Nova Scotia, we have identified two key recommendations that we believe will help increase the supply of, and access to, affordable housing.

Recommendations

1. New Rent Supplements for Co-op Housing Providers

Rental assistance programs are a proven method to help low-income households offset the cost of rent. However, many of these programs have ended with only short-term renewal. Rather than short-term extensions, we suggest a 10-year program available to all co-op and non-profit providers who would in turn use it to support low-income households.

2. Develop a non-market housing construction and acquisition program as a new component of the provincial Action Plan

CHF Canada is calling on the province of Nova Scotia to invest in the construction of new non-market housing through a new dedicated program for co-ops and non-profits. This would take full advantage of the unique, mission-driven approach and existing portfolio of non-market housing providers.

Alongside construction, CHF Canada calls on the province of Nova Scotia to support co-ops and non-profits to acquire rental properties, in order to operate them as non-market housing. This would preserve and potentially enhance their affordability.

This is the time to invest in permanently affordable housing across the province. A housing system that works for all Nova Scotians must include more co-operative housing.

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