Advocates say Nova Scotia budget neglects affordable housing crisis

HALIFAX — Housing advocates in Nova Scotia say the provincial budget neglects people struggling with affordability and those on the edge of experiencing homelessness.

The government’s budget, tabled Thursday, allocates $21.6 million to offer 1,000 more people rent subsidies, and $8.2 million to emergency and overnight shelters.

But there was no new money for public housing.

Michael Kabalen, with Affordable Housing Nova Scotia, says that rent supplements are a valuable “stop gap,” but he adds that the province is in dire need of new affordable housing options.

Hannah Wood, the Halifax chair of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, says government money for public housing should be a top priority as the cost of living rises.

Kabalen says his group is aware of 874 people experiencing chronic homelessness in the Halifax area, a figure he says has tripled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2023.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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