Housing insecurity and homelessness exist across Nova Scotia in communities of all sizes.
While the realities of homelessness might be more visible in the city, people living in rural communities are also dealing with homelessness, where it’s more likely to be hidden. This kind of hidden homelessness can include couchsurfing, staying with friends or family, or living in cabins or camps. People need support and government intervention to deal with the very real issue of housing insecurity in our province.
A recent report, “Housing: Now and Into the Future,” looked at the situation in Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings, and West Hants. Many of the people surveyed said they were dealing with housing insecurity. Although many were employed full time, the high cost of housing, heat and lights made it difficult to find affordable housing options.
For those facing this issue, access to programs, services, and supports to address housing insecurity and homelessness vary significantly across the province. Outside of Halifax, Nova Scotians may not be able to find emergency shelter or connect with a support worker to help them navigate the system.
The McNeil Liberals need to see this issue for what it is and act to improve the situation. We need to see an increase in minimum wage and income assistance rates so that people are able to afford adequate housing. We need to invest in affordable housing stock so that there are more options for housing, and Nova Scotia needs rent control to keep housing affordable for everyone.
Government investment is needed now to ensure supports are in place for those experiencing homelessness and searching for help in finding affordable housing wherever they live in the province.
MLA Dartmouth North
NDP Spokesperson for