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South Shore motel to be converted to accommodations for N.S. health-care professionals


In a year, the doors of what was once the Wheelhouse Motel will open to health-care professionals looking to relocate to, or stay in, Lunenburg, N.S.

“This property was for sale, we saw the potential to get units faster through the renovation of the motel and the site was zoned correctly for us to build on the asset that is already here,” says Angela Bishop, the executive director of the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia.

The 18-unit motel will be renovated to become 10-12 one-bedroom units. Six townhouses for families will also be built on the site for a total cost of $4.7 million.

The Nova Scotia government has purchased the former Wheelhouse Motel in Lunenburg, N.S., to house health-care workers. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

“When health-care workers move into a community, ultimately when they settle down, we expect they will purchase their own home or move somewhere else, but we know that simply having a place to live is incredibly important to moving somewhere,” says Nova Scotia Housing Minister John Lohr.

“It’s just a great announcement,” adds Lunenburg mayor-elect, Jamie Myra, especially because Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital faces regular closures.

“The biggest issue we hear from health-care workers to almost every profession in Lunenburg lately is the housing crisis for employees. It’s easy to get people to come here for the most part because it’s such a beautiful place to live, it’s just that they can’t find housing to live in,” Myra says.

Lohr says the need for housing provincewide is acute. That’s why Bishop says units not occupied by health professionals could, for instance, go to skilled tradespeople.

“We certainly will not leave a unit vacant in the current housing shortage here in Lunenburg, or anywhere else in the province.”

A room inside the former Wheelhouse Motel in Lunenburg, N.S. (Jonathan MacInnis/CTV Atlantic)

Rent will be paid by the tenant to the Housing Trust and will be based on that person’s income.

The units are expected to be ready by next July or August.

Similar projects are being considered for the communities of Cumberland, Guysborough, Sydney, Antigonish, Inverness and Colchester.

Announcements on one or two of those could be made by the end of the year.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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