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Council votes against turning Halifax Common into tent site

12 councillors voted against and 4 councillors voted for it

Halifax regional council has voted against turning a section of the Halifax Common into a dedicated tent site for people experiencing homelessness.

Twelve councillors voted against the motion and four voted in favour of it on Tuesday night. The recommendation was outlined in a homeless strategy report prepared by housing and homelessness director Max Chauvin.

“The only solution to this is to get our asses in gear, spend the money, buy the hard sheds, buy the modulars, buy the prefabs, get the people indoors because we are not ever going to control the tents,” said Coun. Shawn Cleary during debate Tuesday evening.

Cleary said he couldn’t support making the Common a tent site because it couldn’t be “time bounded”

“Unless we have another place for them to go, we can’t move them.”

The other four recommendations in the report were approved, which included:

  • Leasing private property where people can shelter.
  • Establishing more encampments, temporary housing or tiny home locations on municipal properties like parking lots and surplus lands.
  • Writing to the province to ask for its “immediate plans to create deeply affordable housing options” in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
  • Research non-park properties, campgrounds and outdoor facilities for people taking shelter in vehicles.

An extra recommendation was also approved which called for a staff report to explore the possibility of buying and installing pre-fabricated structures to provide rapid response emergency housing in the municipality. …[Continue Reading]