HRM’s population is growing rapidly and there is a legitimate need for more housing. Both municipal and provincial governments are making changes to planning and development processes to meet the increased housing demand. EAC is supportive of some of these changes, and critical of others. We are committed to the ongoing advocacy of strategic and sustainable growth in the right places.
In 2022, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the appointed Executive Panel on Housing in Halifax Regional Municipality (also known as the Housing Task Force) selected nine areas in HRM to be studied and fast-tracked for housing development. These areas will have background studies about land suitability, infrastructure and traffic completed for them, and will go to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval, instead of HRM Regional Council.
Around the same time, 30 parcels of provincial land were selected across Nova Scotia for the Land for Housing Initiative, of which nine properties were in HRM. Through this program, applicants compete to build their housing projects on the selected parcels.
Several of the sites selected for housing development are areas important for wildlife habitat connectivity, vital for keeping an intact network of greenspace in HRM. The maps below show the areas selected, the areas that were not selected for these initiatives, and the ways in which they interact with two wildlife habitat modeling reports, the Halifax Green Network Plan and the Wildlife Corridor Landscape Design Charette. Click on each map below to view a larger version.
So far, it does not seem like the need for wildlife habitat connectivity has been factored into the selection of sites for housing, or the design of the developments.
Map 1 – Special Planning Areas of the Housing Task Force in HRM as of 2022
Map 2 – All potential and selected SPA as of 2022
Map 3 – Lands for Housing Initiative parcels in HRM as of 2022
Map 4 – Special Planning Areas and wildlife corridors