November 22 is National Housing Day in Canada
Two days of meetings amongst non-profit housing providers and the housing groups, networks, and coalitions who support their work has culminated in the formation of a new provincial association aimed to strengthen the community housing sector in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association (NSNPHA) will work to promote the mobilization, empowerment, growth, and sustainability of non-profit housing providers and the groups, networks, and coalitions that support their work to respond to the need for safe, accessible, and affordable housing throughout the province.
The formation of the Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association will provide a means through which communication and collaboration can be fostered among non-profit housing providers in the province and the housing groups, networks and coalitions that support their work.
My hope is that together, as a sector, we will be able to create affordable, accessible, and appropriate housing solutions faster and more sustainably for people in housing need, especially those who are living on low incomes.
The Process: Build Together and Founding Meeting
In partnership with the Community Housing Transformation Centre (The Centre), Coady Institute has been working to strengthen the community housing sector in Nova Scotia through the Build Together project. In Phase I, the Build Together team facilitated consultations throughout the province to identify the desired changes from within the sector. These findings shaped the direction of Phase II, advancing the formation of a provincial association.
The Build Together team hosted a Founding Meeting on October 26 and 27 at St. Francis Xavier University. More than 80 attendees (in-person and virtual) worked through governance models, sustainability and strategic planning, DEID (diversity, equity, inclusion, and decolonization), identifying organizational values, composing regional housing networks, and endorsing an interim board of directors for the association.
The Antigonish meeting was inspiring. It opened all kinds of new avenues for the future of community housing in Nova Scotia. A province-wide not-for-profit housing association is a significant vehicle for leveraging knowledge and capacity, ultimately allowing for a more robust and impactful sector. It represents a meaningful step towards solving the housing crisis.
What Happens Next
A 13-person interim board has formed. Its members, along with 20 others from communities across Nova Scotia, have created three collaborative groups that will work to build a strong foundation for the NSNPHA with a view to holding its inaugural annual general meeting before mid-April 2023.