Build Together:

Strengthening the Community Housing Sector in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association Proposed Model

Click on each group for more information

Non-Profit Housing Model-2
Regional Housing Networks Non-Profit Housing Organizations Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association Strategic Provincial Partnerships

Regional Housing Networks

Regional Housing Networks (RHN) are groups of organizations that come together in geographic areas across the province to support the creation of housing options for people who are most in need. RHN not only represent geographic areas but also Mi’kmaw and Indigenous and African Nova Scotians and Persons of African Descent communities and are comprised of numerous and varied stakeholders whose mandates intersect with housing (2SLGBTQQIAAP, Persons with Disability, Women, Youth, Persons who were Previously Incarcerated, Seniors, People Living with Mental Illness and / or Addictions, Recent Immigrants, Newcomers or Refugees) as well as first voice, elders, service providers, municipal and provincial government, poverty reduction groups, health promoters, universities and colleges, economic development agencies, funding partners, and of course, informal and formal community housing groups (co-ops and non-profits).

Regions of the province may be grouped as follows (groups will be tweaked based on what makes sense in each geographic region):
1. Mi’kmaw and Indigenous (provincial scope)
2. African Nova Scotians and Persons of African Descent (provincial scope)
3. Cape Breton, Victoria
4. Inverness, Richmond, Antigonish, Guysborough
5. Pictou, Colchester, Cumberland, Hants
6. Yarmouth, Digby, Shelburne
7. Annapolis, Queens, Lunenburg, Kings
8. Halifax Regional Municipality
9. Halifax Regional Municipality
10. Halifax Regional Municipality

Regional Housing Networks are supported by Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association (NSNPHA) staff members (complement to be determined by resource availability) who are responsible for:
• Advancing capacity building within the sector (local, regional, provincial),
• Advancing policy issues,
• Contributing to provincial discussions related to the non-profit housing sector,
• Convening county or local non-profit housing organization meetings, as needed,
• Convening cross-regional topical experts, lived experience, and underrepresented group advisory circles,
• Convening RHN meetings (provincial for Mi’kmaw and Indigenous and African Nova Scotians and Persons of African Descent),
• Coordinating and supporting regional advocacy efforts,
• Disseminating funding program information and supporting funding applications, if possible,
• Fostering connections between community housing organizations and RHN,
• Networking with local housing organizations to identify successes, where support is needed, and opportunities for collaboration,
• Supporting research projects and initiatives,
• Working with communities to raise awareness about housing issues in the region, and
• Working with Municipalities, the Province of NS, and Planning Commissions to determine land availability for non-profit housing projects.

The functions of Regional Housing Networks include:
• Contributing data, input, feedback (housing issues, successes, policy suggestions) to the NSNPHA to create a provincial profile and awareness of non-profit housing in Nova Scotia,
• Developing regional partnerships,
• Leveraging resources and supports,
• Raising awareness about regional housing issues, challenges, opportunities, and solutions, and
• Sharing information about local housing issues and activities.

Regional Housing Network Members:
• First Voice (people in housing need)
• Elders
• Community (co-op and other non-profit), including Mi’kmaw and Indigenous, African Nova Scotians and Persons of African Descent, Housing Groups (formal and informal)
• Underrepresented Groups (2SLGBTQQIAAP, Persons with Disability, Women, Youth, Persons who were Previously Incarcerated, Seniors, People Living with Mental Illness and / or Addictions, Recent Immigrants, Newcomers or Refugees)
• Municipal and Provincial Government
• Services Providers, e.g., Wrap Around and Navigation Services
• Health Promoters
• Poverty Reduction Groups
• Universities and Colleges
• Funding Partners
• Economic Development Agencies, e.g., Regional Enterprise Networks

Non-Profit Housing Organizations

Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association (NSNPHA) members are comprised of non-profit housing providers as well as informal housing groups, networks, and coalitions – the latter may have a different kind of membership to reflect their informal status. These non-profit organizations and informal housing groups carry out housing initiatives (research, advocacy, awareness raising, and developing and managing housing).

Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association

A key element of the Build Together Roadmap is the formation of a Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association (NSNPHA) to support the mobilization, empowerment, and sustainability of Nova Scotia’s Community Housing Sector. Throughout the work of Build Together, it became evident that the province’s co-op housing organizations are well served by the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada – Atlantic Region (CHF-Atlantic) (https://chfcanada.coop/). Therefore, the development of a NSNPHA - a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors – is proposed to support, and be comprised of, members who are non-profit housing providers and informal housing groups, networks, coalitions. The NSNPHA will form strategic partnerships at the provincial level to support the work of the sector, and it will convene and support regional housing networks to foster coordination and collaboration throughout the province.

The NSNPHA’s responsibilities include:
• Adopting and promoting the values and beliefs articulated through the Build Together project,
• Advancing policy issues, including those illuminated by regional housing networks,
• Advocating for the desired changes to the community housing sector documented in the Build Together project,
• Collaborating with government,
• Convening regional housing networks, including first voice and underrepresented group advisors,
• Developing and coordinating programs and services to leverage economies of scale in the sector,
• Creating a Management Information System (MIS),
• Developing and implementing a communications strategy,
• Forming strategic provincial partnerships,
• Identifying and communicating funding program information,
• Liaising with other provincial non-profit housing associations nation-wide,
• Providing capacity building opportunities, such as organizational development, within the sector, and
• Reaching out to non-profit housing organizations.

Strengthening Nova Scotia’s Community Housing Sector through Collaboration
There is a desire for greater collaboration at the regional level throughout Nova Scotia to reduce competition, increase efficiencies, and leverage relationships to find housing solutions appropriate to the scale and character of the communities served by the community housing sector, including both non-profit and co-op housing providers. Further, there is a growing recognition of the importance of provincial level coordination for a stronger policy voice and engagement with other jurisdictions, and to improve equitable access to resources to ensure no regions are left behind. The Build Together Model and Roadmap propose regional and provincial entities that work together to support Nova Scotia’s community housing sector.

Strategic Provincial Partnerships

A key element to this roadmap is the formation of Strategic Provincial Partnerships to support the work of the affordable housing sector in Nova Scotia. Potential Strategic Provincial Partnerships will be explored more fully, but they are key stakeholders that have been identified as being assets to the community housing sector.

The purpose of forming these partnerships is to support the:
• Delivery of shared programs and services,
• Provision of organizational and technical expertise,
• Collaborative approach to finding housing solutions,
• Advancement of sectoral research, funding, capacity building, wrap around and navigation services, and
• Acquisition of land for non-profit housing development.

Proposed Members of Provincial Strategic Housing Partnership:
• Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada – Atlantic Region
• Mi’kmaw and Indigenous, African Nova Scotians and Persons of African Descent, 2SLGBTQQIAAP, Persons with Disability, Women, Youth, Persons who were Previously Incarcerated, Seniors, People Living with Mental Illness and / or Addictions, Recent Immigrants, Newcomers or Refugee communities or groups
• Nova Scotia Health – Public Health and Mental Health and Addictions Health Promoters
• Universities and Colleges
• Government departments, non-profit service providers, coalitions
• Municipalities (economic development agencies, RENs)
• Funding partners (CMHC, Housing NS, The Centre, foundations, charities, private sector, other government departments)

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