HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia will spend more than $1.8 million on three projects which will create more than 50 affordable housing units in Halifax.

The province announced details of the Rapid Housing Initiative in HRM on Monday.

The joint project by the federal, provincial and municipal government, will see three projects built that will create approximately 52 affordable housing units. The federal government had previously announced an investment of $8.7 million for the initiative.

"We need to act quickly to address the unprecedented housing market that currently exists in our province, and these projects are a significant step in the right direction," said Chuck Porter, N.S. minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We will continue to work with our partners to identify opportunities to protect vulnerable Nova Scotians now, while the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission continues its work to find long-term solutions."

Adsum for Women and Children, the North End Community Health Association and the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre will work with HRM on the three projects, which will include a focus on people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness including Mi'kmaq women and their children, African Nova Scotians and people with physical disabilities.

Last month, Halifax council unanimously approved the three proposals, which include the following:

  • A $4 million project by Adsum Women and Children would see an expansion of the shelter to include 25 residential units for women and children.
  • A $2.9 million project by the Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Centre to create 17 rooms in a shared housing portion of a building in the city's south end, along with seven units of one or two bedrooms. Approved housing units will serve the urban Indigenous population in the city, with the goal of residents moving in by December next year.
  • A $1.2 million project by the North End Community Health Association, where a vacant four-unit building will be turned into a shared housing building with 10 rooms, "targeted towards African Nova Scotians who experience chronic homelessness."

Advocacy groups in Halifax have warned of a growing housing crisis as low-income tenants are evicted to make way for renovations and recent estimates put the city's homeless population at 477 -- more than double the figure a year ago.

"These projects demonstrate that government and community can work with urgency to address the very real need for permanent, affordable, supportive housing,” added Halifax mayor Mike Savage. “Together, we can make sure housing is not simply an important right but a lasting reality.”  

Over $500,000 was set aside for contingencies in the event of unexpected costs in the projects.

Last week, the province's department of housing announced they will be spending $1.7 million to create 25 shelter beds at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and an additional 15 shelter beds at the North End Community Health Centre.