Liberals Table Bills to Establish Housing Targets and Support Renters
October 12, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
When the fall session of the legislature resumes today, Nova Scotia’s Liberals will table
the first of many in a suite of bills to address the ongoing housing crisis in Nova Scotia.
“With the highest rate of inflation and highest rental increases in the country, Nova
Scotians can’t afford to wait any longer for Premier Houston to get the political courage
that is needed to tackle this housing crisis,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill.
“Today’s bills are just a fraction of what our Liberal caucus will be introducing to address
the needs of Nova Scotians across the housing spectrum.”
The Municipal Housing Targets Act would encourage the province to work collaboratively
with municipalities to establish housing targets by mirroring existing legislation in British
Columbia and Ontario. This bill would also establish a fund to support municipalities who
meet their housing targets to fund affordable housing projects and improve land-use
bylaws to spur more housing development. Housing targets should be set within six
months of the bill’s enactment.
The Rent Supplement Threshold Reduction Act would reverse the Houston government’s
terrible decision to raise the thresholds for the rent supplement program from 30 per cent
of income to 50 per cent, excluding over 300 applicants since the change was made.
The Liberals will also be re-introducing amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to
bring a residential tenancies enforcement unit to Nova Scotia by March 1, 2024. After
bringing forward this idea in 2022, the Houston government commissioned a study that
recommended work already be underway for a provincial enforcement unit to protect both
tenants and landlords. The government has since been silent on the issue.