Housing Nova Scotia Appoints Interim Advisory Committee

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of the release of Nova Scotia's first housing strategy, government today, May 6, announced an interim advisory committee for Housing Nova Scotia. 

"This is a crucial step for Housing Nova Scotia as it becomes more strategic and effective to better help Nova Scotians find a home that is affordable," said Joanne Bernard, Minister of Community Services, which is responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. "As we transform our approach to housing in Nova Scotia, this advisory committee will guide us."

Committee members were selected to represent four non-government groups: Housing Nova Scotia clients; private development; non-profit housing; and academics and research.

The committee members are:
-- Wadih Fares, CEO, WM Fares Group
-- Jill Grant, PhD, professor, School of Planning, Dalhousie University
-- Norma Boyd, director of operations, New Dawn Enterprises
-- Paul Pettipas, chief executive officer, Nova Scotia Home Builders Association
-- Don Spicer, executive director, Shelter Nova Scotia
-- Floyd Benjamin, tenant representative
-- Suzy Hansen, tenant representative
-- Kevin Malloy, CEO, Housing Nova Scotia, committee chair 

"Creating the advisory committee really demonstrates government's commitment to allow a new, more participatory and collaborative relationship with tenants, partners and communities," said Ms. Hansen. "I'm delighted they are giving citizens a voice on housing issues that are important to us." 

"One of the key issues we face is a declining availability of affordable housing on the peninsula and in many other communities," said Ms. Grant. "I am pleased to be part of this advisory committee and look forward to helping Housing Nova Scotia develop its plan to work with municipalities on policies to enable affordable housing, and with non-profit groups to maintain their housing."

The committee will help Housing Nova Scotia develop its strategic plan, fulfill its housing strategy commitments, develop criteria to create a permanent advisory board, advise the minister and senior Housing Nova Scotia staff on housing issues, identify emerging trends, act as a liaison between government and their sectors or tenants, and identify priorities.

"I look forward to working with the advisory committee and our various partners and stakeholders," said Mr. Malloy. "For Housing Nova Scotia to be successful, we must work with the community, partners and stakeholders. This board will ensure we have stakeholder input as we implement the housing strategy." 

The mission of Housing Nova Scotia is to help Nova Scotians find a home that is right for them, at a price they can afford, in a healthy, vibrant community that offers the services, supports and opportunities they need. 

Since being renamed with a new mandate on Aug. 30, 2013, Housing Nova Scotia has:
-- appointed a CEO
-- started the Bloomfield development, a visionary residential community in the north end of Halifax
-- announced a plan to invest $4-million to repair and upgrade social housing
-- begun working on a multi-year strategy
-- started working on a plan to better support co-op housing