Jennifer Keesmaat reviews Centre Plan

Jennifer Keesmat

UDI - Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia

As the recognized voice of the land development industry in Nova Scotia, The Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia (UDI) is part of a national network of organizations.

” Last year HRM staff drafted a Centre Plan document referred to as ‘The Purple Document’, which was endorsed by Regional Council in June as being consistent with their vision. They directed staff to create the actual policies and regulations in the form of a Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law. When finalized and adopted by Council, these documents will guide development of the Regional Centre over the next few years. ”

The Keesmaat report on the HRM Centre Plan is now complete. The results were presented at a public meeting on May 9th

© Copyright UDI

 

Income Assistance in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, social assistance is called Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA), which replaced the Family Benefits Program and Municipal Social Assistance in 2001.

There were 26,600 cases (families and single adults) in Nova Scotia’s Employment Support and Income Assistance program in March 2017, and 37,700 beneficiaries, (individual claimants, their partners, and dependent children).

These numbers fell rapidly during the mid-2000s but have remained stable for most of the last decade.

© Maytree 2018

77 Bloor Street West, Suite 1600, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1M2

All Social Assistance Summaries available at: www.maytree.com/social-assistance-summaries

 

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Individuals with a disability in Nova Scotia receive three thousand dollars ( 2014 dollars) less than benefits received in 1989.

 

 

50 000 Nova Scotian households are in core housing need.

” A household is said to be in ‘core housing need’ if its housing falls below at least one of the adequacy, affordability or suitability standards and it would have to spend 30% or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable (meets all three housing standards).

Housing standards are defined as follow:

Adequate housing is reported by their residents as not requiring any major repairs.

Affordable housing has shelter costs equal to less than 30% of total before-tax household income.

Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and composition of resident households according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements. ” – Stats Can

Figure 1 presents the core housing need prevalence rates for all census metropolitan areas.

BC Housing release Canadian Rental Index. What does it look like for Nova Scotia?

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The five provinces with the highest share of people in the 50-per-cent category are B.C. (21 per cent); Ontario (20.9 per cent); Nova Scotia (19 per cent); Newfoundland and Labrador (17 per cent); and Saskatchewan (16.4 per cent). Those households on the bottom of the income scale are dramatically more likely to be paying too much for rent: In Ontario, 60 per cent of those making less than $22,385 are in the 50-per-cent-for-rent group; in B.C., they are 66 per cent; in Nova Scotia, 63 per cent.

 

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Income inequality in the HRM – New report

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” Income inequality and income polarization in Halifax increased. When we look at the HRM specifically, we see that both income inequality and polarization increased substantially during the 1990s. This was a period of economic downturn in the Atlantic region, and the HRM was not spared. Military bases closed, government jobs were lost, the federal government reduced federal transfer payments to the province, and the unemployment rate was high. Between 1980 and 2015, income inequality increased by 37%. Yet the most substantial increases occurred during the 1990s, with a 33% increase in income inequality from then until 2015. From 2010 onward, the increase has been 6%.”


Rezoning areas of Dartmouth Crossing to residential.

A rendering of the first of two new residential buildings proposed for Dartmouth Crossing. Community council has voted 5-0 to allow changes to rezoning in the area, which is a big step forward for the project.
Rezoning from commercial to residential in Dartmouth Crossing,.

With apartment vacancy rates lowering, and getting more expensive, the HRM is bucking the national trend for jurisdictions with our population. 

We’ve over built our commercial stock.  Rezoning this land a good idea.

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Huff Po – Updated 03/29/2018 17:00 EDT – Canadian Rental Rates Are Falling After A Long Period Of Steep Growth but not here in Nova Scotia but not here in Nova Scotia.

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Thanks to the CMHC and the Federal Government of Canada for providing us with this information.

Ever consider building an apartment block? Now is the time.

FCM welcomes National Housing Co-Investment Fund announcement (02/05/2018)

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Jenny Gerbasi issued this statement following today’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund announcement by the federal government. 

“The launch of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) last fall was a breakthrough, and today’s announcement brings its largest component to life. This significant investment puts tools directly in the capable hands of local governments and affordable housing providers.

“These investments are about strengthening our federal-municipal partnership to build a future for Canada where 1.7 million households aren’t struggling to find a decent home.  Turning these investments into real outcomes will require sustained collaboration among all partners. With the right tools, local expertise stands ready to repair, retrofit and grow Canada’s affordable housing supply.

“Municipalities are already innovating to support high-impact housing projects — with land contributions, expedited approvals, zoning changes and more. Engaging municipal expertise in the continued design of this fund will be critical to its ability to prioritize high-impact housing projects that reflect local needs. FCM expects deepened engagement and stands ready to work with the federal government to help get the details right.

“Affordable housing is the bedrock of the livable, inclusive communities we want to build. That’s why FCM has worked hard to secure and shape the National Housing Strategy. We commend Minister Duclos for his leadership, and the federal government for their meaningful reengagement in affordable housing.”

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.

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Living in Downtown HRM – The Darkside

 

Don’t blame one government official or even a whole council, Legislature or House of Commons.

Blame decades of them.

My lifetime. Nationwide,  few real issues, especially ones that affect lower income bracket individuals, get past this phase.

” Let’s roll up our sleeves, get the pen out and write a cheque for another report”

Homelessness is a killer.

I’ve been homeless.

Drug addiction .. mental illness .. family tragedy .. I’ve been homeless. Three times in my life. It sucks.

It’s a killer.

Once one has been homeless it’s next to impossible to ever see that person again as the job creator. The economic stimulator. The tax payer.

I was all that way more than I was ever homeless. But be clear.

I was homeless three times in my life for years at a time and like thousands and thousands of Canadians today, about 100 bucks a month away from being there again.

In the 2016 municipal election our Mayor , well intended, announced bold measures to deal with the affordable housing crisis in the HRM.

Housing is a Provincial power.  Responsibility. I believe what the Mayor was referring to was the Centre Plan.  More on that later.

We were told there was a plan. That there is a plan.

Or is there a plan really?

In 2015, we learned that Twelve percent of the municipality’s population is in extreme housing need. That’s 46,000 people who are spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

Almost every fact that local politicians or agents of the government or the media quotes us today on housing and homelessness comes from the United Way and Housing and Homelessness Partnership .

Numbers and talking points for the last two years gleaned from  FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020

I’m going to presume that Pad Mapper, the group that put this current report out included of the HRM and not simply peninsular Halifax.

Is that safe? Maybe it’s not safe but I am going to go with it anyway.

In October 2017  HRM get’s into tenth spot for pricey pads.

That’s a four position jump from March 2017.

And a seven position jump since February.