Helping address homelessness

The Halifax Regional Municipality recognizes that everyone deserves a home. 

While the province is responsible to lead addressing homelessness in all of Nova Scotia’s municipalities, the Halifax Regional Municipality also has an important role to play – and is committed to applying resources to support efforts aimed at helping to address homelessness in the Halifax region. This work is guided by the municipality's Framework for Addressing Homelessness.

As housing insecurity continues to be an issue in the region, work with community partners and other levels of government has significantly accelerated, and collaboration has expanded to help address both affordable housing and homelessness.

The Province of Nova Scotia has the mandate to provide:

  • Public housing and programs for people with low to modest income
  • Affordable housing throughout the province, including housing options for those experiencing homelessness 

Residents with questions related to provincial supports and services for those experiencing homelessness can contact 211 for more information.

Investing in emergency accommodations

Under the direction of Regional Council, the municipality has purchased and installed modular units as emergency accommodations with capacity for 64 people experiencing homelessness.

Images of emergency accommodations site in Halifax:

Halifax modular unit site

Halifax modular unit site

The Halifax site is on the western portion of the Centennial Pool parking lot accessed from Cogswell Street. Six modular bedroom units, an accessible modular bedroom unit, and a number of support units – for a total of nine units – are located on this site which will accommodate 38 individuals.  

Occupancy permits were approved for 36 of the residential rooms on April 14, 2022, and for the barrier-free accessible unit (consisting of two bedrooms) and commercial kitchen on May 3, 2022.

The province's service provider, Out of the Cold, facilitates identification and placement of individuals into the modular units. Decisions and timing related to the placement of individuals is determined by the service provider.

Images of emergency accommodations site in Dartmouth:

Dartmouth modular unit site

Dartmouth modular unit site

The Dartmouth site is on Alderney Drive, near Church Street. Four modular units, an accessible unit and two support units, for a total seven units are located on this which can accommodates 26 individuals.

Occupancy permits were approved for the four modular bedroom units on Jan. 13, 2022, and for the two barrier-free bedrooms and single washroom on Feb. 8, 2022.

Modification of the modular unit to accommodate the commercial kitchen, while impacted by supply chain issues, was completed on March 18, 2022. 

In addition to the modular units, previous municipal support has included:

  • Providing the province access to select municipal facilities, including the Gray Arena, the George Dixon Centre, and the Pavilion, to be used as temporary emergency shelters.
  • Approving $70,000 to a coalition of 11 community service providers for use as crisis funding for hotel stays to support individuals experiencing homelessness – including directly covering the cost of hotel rooms for some individuals.
  • Working with both levels of government to provide accommodations for up to 70 additional individuals through the Rapid Housing Initiative.
  • Allocating funding for six affordable housing projects from community partners, with a total of 157 units – and contributing a further $6 million annually for social and non-profit housing.
  • Working with the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth to approve 17 safe emergency shelters with heat, electricity, and access to washrooms.