Dartmouth hotel to be converted to housing units for Nova Scotians experiencing homelessness

Nova Scotia is adding permanent supportive housing units to help those experiencing homelessness in the province.

In a news release Thursday, the province announced plans to convert the former Travelodge Hotel in Dartmouth, N.S., to 65 housing units.

“Many people experiencing chronic homelessness need additional support to maintain housing,” said Minister of Community Services Karla MacFarlane.

The hotel will be renamed The Overlook and operated by the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia and the North End Community Health Centre.

“The Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia is thrilled to be a partner with the North End Community Health Centre in buying and operating the former Travelodge and converting it to supportive housing,” said Jim Graham, the executive director of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia.

“Offering harm reduction housing will help us reduce chronic homelessness in Halifax Regional Municipality. We’re grateful for the support from all three levels of government.”

The province is also partnering with the Government of Canada and the Halifax Regional Municipality on the project.

“This partnership will provide the supports needed for people to live safe and meaningful lives within their community. We look forward to welcoming people to their new home,” said MacFarlane.

The federal government and HRM are contributing $6.5 million, while the province is providing $3.5 million to purchase the former hotel and $1.5 million in annual operating costs.

The province says The Overlook is the first harm-reduction focused housing project in Nova Scotia.

“Wraparound services for residents will include occupational therapy, onsite nursing and addictions counselling, harm-reduction services and peer support,” reads the release.

Additionally, five units will be designated for respite care for unhoused individuals after release from hospital.