News release

Province Announces Members of Panel on Housing

Former cabinet minister Geoff MacLellan will chair the panel on housing in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), a joint planning task force created this fall to address housing challenges in the capital region. The Province made the announcement today, November 25.

“Nova Scotia has been growing quickly, and the housing supply hasn’t kept pace. The new joint planning task force will provide a forum for the Province and HRM to come together and reach solutions,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Mr. MacLellan is well-versed on the issues related to housing, and he’ll be able to get up to speed quickly. I have confidence that he and the other panel members will be able to identify roadblocks quickly and make progress.”

The other panel members are:

  • Kelly Denty, Executive Director of Planning and Development, HRM
  • Peter Duncan, Director of Infrastructure Planning, HRM
  • Stephen MacIsaac, CEO, Nova Scotia Lands
  • Paul LaFleche, Deputy Minister, Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The new planning task force is part of the Province’s plan to increase housing supply. It will focus on faster planning and development approvals for large residential projects in HRM.

Mr. MacLellan’s remuneration has yet to be determined. It will be shared publicly when it is set. Other panellists are employees of the Province or HRM and will perform this role as part of their regular duties.

The panel’s first meeting will be held in December.

Quotes:

Housing supply is a complex issue and one that needs urgent action. We all want to see more housing supply so all residents of HRM will have a place to call home. I’m looking forward to working closely with HRM and the other panel members to make a difference. Geoff MacLellan, Chair, panel on housing in Halifax Regional Municipality

Quick Facts:

  • the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing appointed the task force chair and two other members, and HRM appointed two members
  • Mr. MacLellan is a former Minister of Infrastructure and Housing and held several other portfolios while in government
  • the panel will review projects that have already gone through HRM’s public planning process and undergone a public hearing
  • by law, the task force will remain in place for three years
  • HRM’s vacancy rate is at 1.0 per cent; the average rental rate increased by 4.1 per cent in 2020

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia’s affordable housing plan, A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Housing and Homelessness, is available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/solutions-housing-and-homelessness

Legislation creating the panel on housing: https://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/64th_1st/3rd_read/b063.htm

Mandate letter of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-MAH-EMO-MR.pdf

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