Nova Scotia Housing Strategy sparks reaction

Daniel Turner attends the Nova Scotia Community College Ivany Campus while living on the other side of Dartmouth. It is not as close as Turner would like, but he is doing the best he can.

"The cost of even just renting a room here is astronomical," said Turner.

Turner applauded the announcement made by the province earlier this week to build student housing on three NSCC campuses.

"I think it would be perfect," said Turner.

According to NSCC President Don Bureaux, new student residences would improve accessibility and sustainability.

"This is going to allow students to come to NSCC,” said Bureaux. “Quite frankly because they couldn't and they couldn't find affordable housing."

Bureaux said he is confident that NSCC has enough space and he would want the campuses and residences built close together.

"We want students to have access to that learning environment, when they are staying in their new homes," said Bureaux.

The province's new housing strategy will also direct $35 million to build 1,100 affordable housing units, which means are needed.

Brad Smith, from the Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades Council, said the province needs more workers.

"We are recruiting again this weekend,” said Smith. “It's an ongoing process and we are always recruiting against demand."

Then there is the issue of building supplies for the new units.

Justin Johnson said supply chain delays are causing construction roadblocks.

"To put timelines to any kind of construction project, right now, is near impossible," said Johnson.

Nova Scotia Municipal Affairs Minister John Lohr is closely watching the rising price of delayed materials.

"The cost of building has gone up during COVID-19, that is for sure," said Lohr.

However, Lohr said he is encouraged by the recent drop in lumber prices.

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