Council approved deputy mayor Tony Mancini's motion to incentivize non-profits working in affordable housing to actually break ground. His motion asking for a staff report on what waving municipal construction fees for non-profits passed this week with an amendment from councillor Lindell Smith making sure eligible non-profits actually work within the realm of affordable housing.
Councillor Shawn Cleary's suggested amendment that the projects also be near public transit was hotly contested and defeated. Exposing
"From a policy perspective," says Jim Graham, executive director of the Affordable Housing Association Nova Scotia, "putting someone on very low income halfway down the Beaverbank Road to Rawdon doesn't make a lot of sense, unless you're prepared to support that with a whole whack of other infrastructure like good transit, and good grocery stores and a school and all the rest of it."
The complicated nature of housing—provincial jurisdiction versus municipal implementation; bylaws, developers, water fees—is faced with the current high demand: "About 40,000 households in Halifax are in critical need," says Graham. "It's going to take more than a few non-profits to actually make a dent in the hole that we're in."