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Houston government says it has high hopes for ‘outside-the-box’ housing programs

Province hoping home renos, private room rentals will create 820 new living spaces

The Nova Scotia Government is hoping its partnership with Happipad, a room rental platform, and offering up to $25,000 to Nova Scotians to convert space in their homes into apartments will result in 820 new rental units.

Two senior government officials said those were the goals set for the recently launched Affordable Housing Development Program and its $1.3M investment in Happipad this past summer.

The funding will cover the fees normally charged by the company until May 2025. Happipad typically charges hosts five per cent of monthly rents and a one-time $20 background check fee.

The deputy minister of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Byron Rafuse, used his opening address to the legislature’s public accounts committee Wednesday to outline the province’s main strategy to help people find affordable places to live.

“We know that in order to truly overcome the housing crisis we need more supply, and we need it at every level” said Rafuse. “We need to continue to think outside the box to come up with creative solutions.”

The partnership with Happipad, as part of a two-year pilot project, was one of those. The online platform allows Nova Scotians with spare rooms to list them on the site and for those looking for a place to live to browse what’s available.

Rafuse said it was an attempt to tap into the thousands of vacant rooms in private homes across the province. …[Continue Reading]