Hous­ing study help­ing groups plan next steps, set pri­or­i­ties

Ini­tia­tive ex­am­ined hous­ing in Shel­burne, Yar­mouth, Digby, An­napo­lis and Kings coun­ties and West Hants

Tri-County Vanguard - - News -

“lots of be­hind-the-scene work is hap­pen­ing as CHOICE and part­ners use the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered to es­tab­lish their next steps and pri­or­i­ties.”

Iden­ti­fy­ing pri­or­i­ties and ac­tions for the western re­gion re­gard­ing safe and af­ford­able hous­ing is part of the idea be­hind a pro­posed gath­er­ing in Yar­mouth of re­gional stake­hold­ers. SHYFT Youth Ser­vices is the project pro­po­nent for this event, which would be a con­tin­u­a­tion of the hous­ing needs as­sess­ment process, Va­con said. A fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion has been filed and a re­sponse likely will come in the next few weeks, she said.

The hous­ing ini­tia­tive – which looked at the hous­ing pic­ture in the coun­ties of Shel­burne, Yar­mouth, Digby, An­napo­lis and Kings, as well as the western part of Hants County – be­gan in the fall of 2017 with a pub­lic sur­vey. There also were two more spe­cial­ized sur­veys.

One of the ini­tial find­ings was that hous­ing in­se­cu­rity and the risk of home­less­ness are preva­lent across the re­gion. Hous­ing in­se­cu­rity was found to be more per­va­sive than many peo­ple might have thought.

More than a year af­ter the project was launched, Va­con says those in­volved in it “are work­ing to strengthen part­ner­ships across the re­gion in hopes that it will re­sult in ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture ... help­ing to ad­dress the avail­abil­ity of af­ford­able hous­ing.”

ERIC BOURQUE

Denise Va­con, health pro­moter with Pub­lic Health Ser­vices, takes notes dur­ing a stake­holder ses­sion held last year in Yar­mouth as part of a project that ex­am­ined the hous­ing pic­ture in western Nova Sco­tia.

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