News release

More Planning Powers for Municipal Governments

Municipalities need the flexibility to improve incentives and remove barriers to building affordable housing in their communities, where it is needed most.

The government is making changes to the Municipal Government Act and the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter to provide local governments with more planning powers to address affordable housing needs in their communities.

The amendments mean municipalities can require affordable housing in a new development within municipal boundaries.

“We need more safe, affordable housing for Nova Scotians,” said John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Inclusionary zoning is one tool municipalities can use to help make that happen.”

The changes were introduced on October 20 in the Nova Scotia legislature.


This legislation will enable municipalities to use inclusionary zoning in their municipal planning strategies. NSFM believes this is the beginning of what needs to be a sustained, collaborative discussion on how to best address the housing crisis through municipal-provincial partnership. Emily Lutz, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities

Quick Facts:

  • the change was requested by Halifax Regional Municipality but will be available to all municipalities
  • inclusionary zoning is a planning tool that municipalities can use to create opportunities for affordable housing development
  • inclusionary zoning was part of the government’s housing plan announced on October 20

Additional Resources:

A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Housing and Homelessness:


Media Contact:

Krista Higdon
Cell: 902-220-6619 Email: