Province Takes Action on Barriers to African Nova Scotian Housing
The province is taking an important step to remove systemic barriers and support community-based housing opportunities in four African communities in Nova Scotia.
“The African communities of Nova Scotia have unique needs when it comes to housing. Historically, governments have not always engaged before making major program decisions,” said John Lohr, Secretary of State for Communities and Housing. “We are working together to understand historical and existing issues impacting residents and to identify options to create more sustainable community-owned housing opportunities now and in the future.”
A new MoU with the Preston Area Housing Fund will initiate discussions to address injustices and explore opportunities to support long-term housing needs in the area, including works to transfer up to 50 provincially owned housing units in Cherry Brook-Lake Loon, North Preston, East Preston and Westphal to the non-profit organization.
The government is also providing $3.5 million to support ongoing repair, maintenance and sustainable operation of the units.
We are committed to working with African communities in Nova Scotia to find community-focused solutions. Organizations like the Preston Area Housing Fund understand the needs and strengths in their communities, and we want to give them the support they need to thrive. Pat Dunn, Minister for African Affairs in Nova Scotia
Placing ownership of more housing directly in the hands of the community is another step in addressing systemic barriers and historical injustices that have plagued African communities in Nova Scotia for generations. This process will create more opportunities to build equity and improve home safety in our communities. Dwayne Provo, Deputy Minister for African Affairs in Nova Scotia
We as a community have waited so long for community members to be involved in housing decisions, not for someone else to make decisions for them. Having ANSA at the table under Deputy Assistant Dwayne Provo is important, which gives the opportunity to speak openly and know we are being heard and understood. It’s reassuring that we will have someone on site who cares about the community and doesn’t take from it. Bruce Johnson, Board Member, Preston Area Housing Fund
Quick Facts: The units eligible for community ownership were developed under a variety of federal and provincial housing programs that no longer exist. Discussions are being initiated in other communities where similar opportunities may exist at a later date, which the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission has recommended working with underrepresented communities to help remove barriers to homeownership and affordable housing opportunities