Nova Scotia Journal

Nova Scotia has asked the government to declare a housing emergency

government to declare a housing emergency

Key Takeaways:

  • On Sunday, dozens of housing advocates gathered outside Province House in downtown Halifax, demanding that the provincial government take swifter action to address emergency lodging needs.

“We’re doing our best to winterize the park, but there’s not much we can do.” We had no idea we’d be here for so long. “We expected the government to do something as soon as we took over the park to get us over there,” said Victoria Levack, a spokesperson for the Permanent, Accessible, Dignified, and Safer (PADS) Community Network.

According to advocates, the Nova Scotia government should call an emergency session of the legislature to discuss immediate housing options for the growing number of unhoused people living in parks.

PADS is a community network that has long advocated for safer and more accessible housing, as well as a moratorium on park evictions. On August 18, hundreds of people marched through downtown Halifax to protest police-led evictions of homeless people living in parks.

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In the days that followed, a volunteer-led network was established to assist the homeless and displaced. More than 100 days later, they’re still working with the larger community to help people who have no other option but to sleep outside in tents.

Halifax Regional Police have previously stated that health and safety concerns were the primary reason for encampment removals, but no moratorium has been declared.

“They could have just bought the right ones in the first place or converted old buildings that aren’t being used into emergency shelters,” said Levack.

The city’s modular housing plans will be updated early this week, and the provincial government will provide social support services at the sites. The province has also voted in favor of other housing measures, such as extending the temporary rent cap and approving the municipality’s long-standing request for inclusionary zoning.

However, supporters argue that these measures do not address the immediate needs of those who are left to fend for themselves due to a lack of affordable and accessible housing.

Source: Global News

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