Nova Scotia

Halifax aims to end homelessness by 2019

Halifax is turning its eye towards securing more affordable housing, after a recent report card paints a grim picture of homelessness in the capital.

HRM report card on homelessness summary: nothing has changed

All you need to do is take a stroll down Spring Garden Road in Halifax, and you'll find someone who's homeless. Homeless stats in Halifax remain static. (CBC) (CBC)

Halifax is turning its eye towards securing more affordable housing, after a recent report paints a grim picture of homelessness in the capital.

The 2013 report card on homelessness in Halifax suggest things aren't changing.

"It's very serious," Mayor Mike Savage told CBC's Information Morning"People think about those who are homeless, and that's a very serious issue, including here in Halifax. But it's many other folks as well. It's a whole strata of income levels and demographic groups who are struggling because housing costs have gone up much more than salary levels."

Halifax is hosting a conference on the topic this week.

A new group aimed at ending homelessness in Halifax by 2019 came out of the conference. The group's main goal is improving affordable housing. Affordable housing has also been made this year's priority for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, a national lobby group.

Savage said local governments would like to see the federal government agree to continue programs to help people.

"There's $1.7 billion in national, federal investments in housing that are set to expire over the next couple of years. We're not asking right now for pots and pots of new money. We're saying protect those investments and if we don't then hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are currently getting benefits, including 200,000 of what you might call the most vulnerable Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans even, who are getting some protection on their housing costs, that those could expire," he said.

The Nova Scotia Housing and Homelessness Network says the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Halifax is $753.

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