The Province is investing $8 million to help maintain student residences, increase student housing options and ease pressure on the housing supply.
“We have an urgent need for more housing options for students around the province, and we continue to listen to our post-secondary partners and take action,” said Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education. “Students are at the centre of everything we do, and this investment is part of our provincewide student housing strategy that will help ensure they have a comfortable and safe place to live and study now and in future.”
The government will allocate $5 million to the Tartan Downs housing project in Sydney, a mixed-use development that will include student housing. Cape Breton University and the Urban Neighborhood Development Association are partnering on this significant project at the site of the former Tartan Downs racetrack.
The Atlantic School of Theology (AST) in Halifax will receive $3 million to preserve and maintain student accommodations, used by students from several institutions. The work includes repairs to the brickwork, new plumbing, Wi-Fi system updates and upgrades to the shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The number of beds will also increase to 97 from 65.
Under its housing and homelessness strategy released in October 2021, the government has committed to making investments to increase the supply of affordable housing options for students. The Province continues to do research, work with partners and consider innovative projects in other jurisdictions to develop a student housing strategy in the coming months – a first for Nova Scotia.
We’re working to increase and preserve housing supply across all spectrums of need. Increasing student housing is another important way to help relieve the overall community housing shortage and help ensure more Nova Scotians find a safe, affordable place to live.
John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The Cape Breton region is managing growth for the first time in many decades. With this growth comes new challenges including providing affordable housing for the community, which students play an integral role in. We are thrilled that the Government of Nova Scotia recognizes this and is making this investment in the community. This kind of investment has the potential to positively impact the lives of the community for generations to come.
Gordon MacInnis, interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University
Updating student housing at AST will allow AST to continue to offer student housing to local university students. This funding means that we will be able to address the needs of more students by providing additional affordable housing in HRM.
Tim O’Neill, interim President, Atlantic School of Theology
I chose the residence at Atlantic School of Theology because it’s fairly close to my school, but also because it’s small – I didn’t want to feel lost in a huge residence – and because it’s affordable, which is more important now than it’s ever been. My experience here has been great, and I’ve been here long enough now that I can see how much could be done with this gorgeous old building to make it an even better place to live. I was super excited to hear that the Province intends to support student housing in this way and am really looking forward to seeing what changes.
Margaret Harvey, student resident, Atlantic School of Theology
- upon completion, the Tartan Downs development will have about 430 residential units, with about half intended to be affordable; it will also include accessible units
- Phase 1 of the Tartan Downs development is expected to deliver 130 units total, and 30 per cent of them will be affordable
- students from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Saint Mary’s University, University of King’s College and Nova Scotia Community College occupy AST campus housing
- in November, the Province announced a significant investment in new affordable, accessible campus housing at three Nova Scotia Community College campuses to house 350 students
- the Province’s accessibility strategy, Access by Design 2030, outlines how the government achieves an accessible province by providing persons with disabilities with equitable access to programs, services, information and infrastructure