Latest News

Monday, November 23, 2015

We have a new address…

Housing Nova Scotia is now operating under one roof. As of this past summer, Housing Services, Housing Programs and Head Office all live together at 3770 Kempt Road in Halifax. With a smaller footprint than our previous two-location site, the new facility offers more meeting space and easier parking.

Eastern Mainland Housing Authority and Housing Services are also enjoying a new, combined home base in New Glasgow at 7 Campbell's Lane.

… and a new Chief Operating Officer…

In August, Housing Nova Scotia announced appointment of its new Chief Operating Officer, Lindsay Wadden.

Lindsay’s most recent experience as VP of Gaming Operations with the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation positions her well to strategize and manage the initiatives planned for our agency. Prior to her work in government, Lindsay practiced corporate, commercial and real estate law in Charlottetown, PEI.

She also volunteers with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Dalhousie Legal Aid, Habitat For Humanity, Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association, and the Salvation Army.

…AND a new Chief Financial Officer

In June, Cyril LeBlanc was appointed Chief Financial Officer for Housing Nova Scotia. He will take on the agency’s financial function and management of the mortgage and loans team.

Cyril has nearly 30 years of experience in community services and housing. Through various administrative and managerial roles with the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority and the Department of Community Services, Cyril has gained extensive knowledge of HNS’s business operation and the clients we serve. 


Housing Nova Scotia supports Habitat For Humanity

Housing Nova Scotia is proud to support two recent Habitat For Humanity projects in Halifax.

The adjacent duplexes are being constructed in part under Habitat For Humanity’s Women Build program. Women Build brings together volunteer women from all walks of life, who want to learn construction skills through building homes and communities. 

In September, Housing Nova Scotia minister Joanne Bernard took part in the building of the second duplex.

“Housing Nova Scotia is proud to give financial support to this Habitat For Humanity project,” said minister Bernard. “Habitat’s Women Build program offers a unique volunteer opportunity for women to become partners in providing sound, safe and affordable housing for Nova Scotia communities.”

An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization working towards establishing safe, healthy and affordable places to live. To date, Habitat has built 45 homes throughout the province, helping low income working families achieve the goal of successful homeownership.


Investing in workplace mental health

Kudos to our Housing Authority Services team and all other employees who promote mental health and a good, healthy workplace. They were part of a recent national campaign called Not Myself Today, which aimed to drive positive change and help build healthier workplace cultures that are free from shame and judgment.

During Mental Health Awareness Week (May 4-10, 2015), Housing Authority personnel were offered information and activities along the themes of substance abuse and mental health, the mental health benefits of exercise, the impact of nutrition on mental health, and work-life balance.

Housing Nova Scotia is one of more than 170 companies and organizations that are stepping up and leading extraordinary change in workplaces across Canada.


HNS promotes innovation in housing

Housing Nova Scotia presented at two conferences recently: the Bright Business Conference on October 20 and the Canada Green Building Council’s 2015 Atlantic Green Homes Summit, October 23, in Halifax. Ramzi Kawar, Building Design Manager for Housing Nova Scotia, led a talk on our pioneering Passive House social housing project in Truro, NS.

Built in collaboration with local firm Passive House E-Design and Efficiency Nova Scotia, the new duplex is being built using an energy-efficient design based on Passive House standards. These include replacing windows and doors with more energy efficient ones and added envelope insulation; natural gas conversion for boilers where feasible; implementing EnerGuide standards for all new appliances; and upgrading to energy-saving light fixtures. Heating costs for the future occupants are expected to be $350 per year for each unit.

“Our role is about promoting innovation in housing, not just social housing, but for a broader audience,” says Ramzi. “Making Passive Housing more common for any market at any income level will have a significant impact on sustainability.”

The Bright Business Conference, organized by Efficiency Nova Scotia, brought together business leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs and practitioners in the energy efficiency industry to exchange ideas, best practices and knowledge.

The Canada Green Building Council is a not-for-profit, national organization that has been working since 2002 to advance green building and sustainable community development practices in Canada. With a membership of over 1,600 industry organizations involved in designing, building and operating buildings, homes and communities, CaGBC advocates for green building policies with all levels of governments and the private sector across Canada. 


HNS supports community revitalization efforts

Housing Nova Scotia is helping to revitalize areas of Yarmouth, Truro and New Aberdeen through an improvement grants program.

"People need to feel good about their surroundings," said Housing Nova Scotia minister Joanne Bernard. "Building healthy and vibrant neighbourhoods is more than bricks and mortar. Our goal is to support community effort to improve the quality of life."

Housing Nova Scotia’s Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative offers grants of up to $3,000 to eligible homeowners for projects such as landscaping, exterior painting and repairs. Landlords may also qualify for matchable grants of $2,000 grants per unit.

In Yarmouth, the program dovetails with existing municipal projects designed to revitalize a historically significant part of town. Existing partnerships with private developers are ensuring safe, attractive and affordable homes.

In Truro, the Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative is also part of a Town improvement initiative in the Alice Street neighbourhood, which also includes the redevelopment of the old school site on Alice Street by a private developer.

In yet another partnership model, improvements as part of the New Aberdeen Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative will complement work being done by Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the New Aberdeen Revitalization Affordable Housing Society. The municipality will clear lots of empty, derelict homes, and the New Aberdeen revitalization group plans to create a community garden and spearhead the sale of vacant lots.

The Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative is part of the province's housing strategy to foster healthy, vibrant and diverse communities, supporting a mix of income levels, housing types and tenure. This program is designed to work with existing or new community initiatives and partnership models that include municipalities, community groups and/or private sector developers.

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