Funding dedicated to Black-led organizations available through the Nova Scotia Community Housing Growth Fund – Community Housing Transformation Centre – Centre de transformation du logement communautaire
13 Dec, 2023

Funding dedicated to Black-led organizations available through the Nova Scotia Community Housing Growth Fund

Funding dedicated to Black-led organizations available through the Nova Scotia Community Housing Growth Fund
By Centre

The Nova Scotia Community Housing Growth Fund has received new funding to accelerate the growth of Black-led community housing organizations. In its announcement last November, on the first anniversary of the Growth Fund, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing committed a minimum of $2 million to create a dedicated component to support Black-led community housing initiatives.

“We know that African Nova Scotians have been historically underserved when it comes to housing opportunities” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, John Lohr.

The Centre applauds the Province of Nova Scotia’s commitment to supporting the growth of the community housing sector and meeting the housing needs of people of African descent.

” Through our partnership with the Province, we have been working with several Black-led housing groups in Nova Scotia who want to address the housing crisis in their communities. This additional funding will definitely help them achieve their goals.” Stephan Richard, Director of Development, Community Housing Transformation Centre.

Two million dollars for the growth and development of Black-led, Black-focused organizations serving Nova Scotia’s Black communities. Grants will go to projects aimed at: Capacity building, Planning and pre-project, Research and innovation.

Go to the fund page

Black-led organizations recently funded by the Growth Fund on CBC

A CBC report published following the funding announcement portrays organizations working to develop community housing for Nova Scotia's Black communities. It profiles the Phillip Housing Society, founded in East Preston by the Colley family.

A CBC report published following the funding announcement portrays organizations working to develop community housing for Nova Scotia’s Black communities. It profiles the Phillip Housing Society, founded in East Preston by the Colley family. Living in the area for generations, the Colley family has witnessed the decline of the local population. The organization is currently working on the developing two buildings and rezoning the section to receive water services.

Also featured is the Simmonds family. Through their North Preston Outreach Ministry organization, they are looking to develop a piece of land they have owned for a decade with the help of the growth fund. They want to build affordable housing and contribute to the development of their community, where access to home ownership has long been a barrier. Yet the community of North Preston was established by Jamaican Maroons who emigrated to Canada in 1796. They are best known for building Citadel Hill’s third fortification, Government House, and much of the town’s infrastructure. The Nova Scotia Archives has preserved a petition from the inhabitants of North Preston, dated 1861, requesting clear title to their lands, which for a long time remained beyond the reach of the residents. This has always prevented legal transactions, applications for government grants, or even property renovations, perpetuating the community’s difficulties in building generational wealth.

More projects funded by the Community Housing Growth Fund

Nova Scotia’s unique history, spanning 400 years of black history, has evidently influenced recently funded projects. The projects focus on land-based solutions and growing the number of partnerships through community land trust initiatives. The Centre is enthusiastic to support projects such as the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Land Trust, which aims to demonstrate how to create a community land trust focused on affordable housing and lead a transformative movement. 

Down the Marsh is another community land trust based on community needs. It seeks to provide a diversity of affordable rental and affordable home ownership housing to members of the African Nova Scotian community in Truro, the Colchester County area, and other parts of Nova Scotia. These communities, like many of the over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities in the province, have been marginalized by systemic racism, discrimination, gentrification, and economics of inequality.

Resources for Black-led organizations focused on and serving Black communities

The Centre’s Resource Inventory is packed with practical tools for the development and management of community housing. These resources have been developed by various players in the sector.  We have compiled a list of resources for Black-led organizations that serve and focus on Black communities for your reference below:

Black-led community land trusts in Canada

Buying while Black: Research project

Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) Reports

Roadmap for redevelopment plans to confront systemic racism

Programs aimed at supporting Black-led business growth

Accelerator Program – Infrastructure Institute

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