On October 27, 2022, leading representatives of Nova Scotia’s non-profit housing sector have committed to forming the Nova Scotia Non-Profit Housing Association (NSNPHA).
The two years of work leading up to this historic decision began with extensive consultations conducted by the Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. For many years, there have been discussions in Nova Scotia about how the community housing sector could benefit from greater collaboration and representation of the sector’s interests.
Participants voted 91% in favour of strengthening Nova Scotia’s housing sector through a provincial non-profit housing association, similar to those in other provinces.
“People expressed a strong desire to share information, work together, learn from each other, and expedite their plans to address the current housing crisis as quickly as possible. People also talked about the need for research, advocacy, funding (capital and operational), along with a very strong need to acknowledge that housing is a human right and should be treated as such,” said Pauline MacIntosh of the Coady Institute.
“Collaboration is always essential. It’s a great way to break down barriers and bring people together,” said Renée Hébert, the Centre’s Program Manager for the Atlantic, about the process.
The Centre is also proud to have supported this process through funding and by connecting Nova Scotians with similar organizations across Canada. The provincial organizations shared information and knowledge about organizational structure, funding and governance, as well as how they approach priorities such as equity, diversity and inclusion.
Thirteen people volunteered to create an interim board of directors. The group will work for six months to create the structure of the new association and establish a founding general meeting where a new board will be elected.
The group strives to incorporate a decolonized approach to its structure and operations, such as a community-driven and collaborative approach to decision-making. All individuals or groups working in community housing can participate in NSNPHA. To date, both non-profit housing providers and informal groups such as housing coalitions have been involved in defining the association’s mission.
The structure of NSNPHA will include regional networks made up of members from under-represented groups such as, organizations working in rural Nova Scotia, as well as representatives from the Black, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Both phases of the project – the consultation and the process leading to the formation of the NSNPHA – were funded by The Centre’s Sector Transformation Fund – Sector Impact Projects.
To learn more about the NSNPHA, visit the Build Together website.