Why is it important to engage the community housing sector in Nova Scotia now?
The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy along with the accompanying $55 billion investment through CMHC, provides the affordable housing sector with an unprecedented opportunity to make significant inroads in addressing the housing vulnerability faced by millions of Canadians. To take advantage of this opportunity, it is critical to engage with the community housing sector in Nova Scotia to see how it can best be supported to do its work better and faster for greater positive impact. Community-based organizations, who know first-hand the realities of the housing sector in their localities, are often volunteer run and may benefit from developing their capacities (technical, research, organizational development, etc.) and strengthening their networks for co-learning, meaningful stakeholder participation – including those marginalized by income level and other social barriers, and collective action to work towards the achievement of safe, affordable housing for all.
Who will the project engage?
To determine how best the community housing sector in Nova Scotia can be supported and strengthened, this project will engage non-profit and co-op housing groups in a process of sharing successes, recognizing strengths that can be built upon and shared, as well as challenges and barriers to overcome, identifying areas for capacity enhancement and ways to work together for greater collective impact. It is expected that the engagement process will lead to a better connected and more unified community housing sector in Nova Scotia.
Why the StFX Extension Department and the Community Housing Transformation Centre?
This project aligns with the St. Francis Xavier University Extension Department’s mandate to strengthen and build local and regional capacity through participatory community-based engagement. The project also aligns with the Community Housing Transformation Centre’s work with community housing organizations across the country to drive transformation, sustainability, and growth in the sector.
What are the Project Objectives?
The objectives of this engagement process with the community housing sector in Nova Scotia are:
- Create a database of non-profit and co-op housing groups, coalitions, and organizations working either as volunteers or professionals in the sector.
- Identify and share community housing sector successes, strengths, challenges, helpful factors, hindering factors, and areas where capacity could be strengthened.
- Affirm community housing sector priorities and develop a vision for the sector.
- Based on input as well as research findings, facilitate an exploration of options for working together as a community housing sector.
- Facilitate a decision-making process regarding how to move forward.
When will project activities happen?
The first step will be to establish a Community Housing Sector Engagement Team to guide and support the project. A database will be designed in March and a survey launched to gather information from across the sector. Engagement sessions will happen in April and May with analysis and a presentation of the findings in June, followed by a prioritization survey. In the fall of 2021, the project will reconnect with the sector to affirm what was learned and to develop options for moving forward and working together. Action planning will take place in October and November with a project wrap-up in December.