September 7th, 2023

Houston ignores housing crisis as post-secondary school year begins

HALIFAX – As students from across the country and around the world return to Nova Scotia for another school year at post-secondary institutions across our province, the overwhelming need for housing continues.

“As we welcome tens of thousands of new and returning students to join our communities and attend the post-secondary institutions in our province, the vacancy rate for rental accommodation is less than 1 percent in many places, and rental costs have skyrocketed, said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “We have a situation of thousands of students struggling to afford or unable to find housing, that should have been predicted and should have been avoided. Two years after being elected, the Houston government’s insufficient action on this file is unacceptable.”

According to the Halifax Higher Education Partnership, there are nearly 38,500 post-secondary students in the metro Halifax area alone but only 4,198 student housing spaces.

“All post-secondary students, whether they’re coming to Nova Scotia for the first time or are moving from the next town over, should have a place they can call home and which doesn’t break the bank,” said NDP Advanced Education spokesperson Lisa Lachance. “Every student deserves an affordable place to live, and I eagerly await the long-promised Student Housing Strategy from the Houston government and an updated MOU which addresses skyrocketing tuition and fees that present additional barriers.”

The Houston government has gone months past their self-imposed deadlines to release the Student Housing Strategy and the Housing Strategy for Nova Scotia.