Action for Housing

A 5-year plan to help Nova Scotians access safe housing that they can afford and meets their diverse needs.

About the plan

Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. No one should be without a home. Right now, we need more supply, more people to build and more collaboration between all levels of government, partners and communities.

Our Homes, Action for Housing is government’s plan to bridge the gap between housing supply and demand and provide Nova Scotians with more housing options. The plan is based on 3 strategic solutions (increase housing supply, grow and sustain affordable housing, and provide programs that people need) and proposes 12 actions.

Why we need a plan for housing

The Provincial Housing Needs Assessment Report confirms how housing needs are changing in our province. More people are choosing to live in Nova Scotia. While that’s good news for the province, significant growth puts pressure on the housing market. We know the growing population and housing supply shortage is most prominent in Halifax Regional Municipality but is also impacting all other regions of the province.

We need more housing stock and repairs to existing infrastructure than ever before.

What Nova Scotians told us

In 2022, government launched a province-wide housing needs assessment to better understand the housing demand provincially and in local communities. The Provincial Housing Needs Assessment Report included workshops with municipal staff and elected officials, and input from 20,000 residents, employers, and stakeholders. Most municipalities said they wanted to help address the housing shortage but lacked the expertise and resources.

Themes from the Provincial Housing Needs Assessment Report include:  

  • availability and affordability – almost half of respondents saw their housing costs (either rent or mortgage) increase while others said they couldn't find a place to rent
  • social and economic impacts – the lack of housing has impacted vulnerable and marginalized communities more deeply
  • suitable supply – finding housing that's in good condition ranked high as a concern; many of Nova Scotia's homes are older and need upgrading, and seniors and persons with complex needs said they needed more suitable options
  • transportation – the lack of public transit in many communities is a concern related to affordable housing that affects people who don't have cars, including persons with disabilities and students looking for housing
  • barriers for development – all types of development were affected by the rising fuel and material costs that led to projects being slowed down, and the skilled trades shortage made it difficult for housing stakeholders to increase supply

3 strategic solutions and 12 actions

Our Homes, Action for Housing sets out bold targets. It outlines 3 strategic solutions and 12 actions to help create more housing options now and into the future.

Strategic solutions

Increase housing supply
Grow and sustain affordable housing
Provide programs people need


Action Solution In progress
Use provincial land and infrastructure to create housing
Increase housing supply
Increase skilled workers to build homes
Increase housing supply
Reduce red tape and update housing laws
Increase housing supply
Invest more to build more for people
Increase housing supply
Pilot new approaches to help individuals and families
Increase housing supply
Grow the community housing sector
Grow and sustain affordable housing
Repair and upgrade affordable housing to help people remain in their homes
Grow and sustain affordable housing
Make publicly owned housing accountable, more accessible for people, and climate friendly
Grow and sustain affordable housing
Innovate, test and scale-up projects to create welcoming communities
Grow and sustain affordable housing
Dedicate funding to Indigenous people and people of African Descent
Provide programs people need
Help move people experiencing homelessness to housing
Provide programs people need
Simplify and promote housing programs
Provide programs people need

Measuring progress

To support access to safe and affordable housing in Nova Scotia, government will measure its progress on each solution and the impact of its actions, and adjust its plan as needed. Annual updates will also be provided.