BILL NO. 3
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Housing as a Human Right Act
First Reading: October 13, 2021
WHEREAS housing is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to building sustainable and inclusive communities as well as a strong provincial economy in which the people of Nova Scotia may prosper and thrive;
AND WHEREAS access to affordable housing contributes to achieving beneficial social, economic, health and environmental outcomes;
AND WHEREAS provincial goals, timelines and initiatives relating to housing and homelessness are essential to improving the quality of life of the people of Nova Scotia, particularly persons in greatest need;
AND WHEREAS a provincial housing policy would contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations;
AND WHEREAS a provincial housing policy would support the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Canada is a party;
AND WHEREAS virtually every community in Nova Scotia continues to experience a crisis in housing availability and affordability;
AND WHEREAS the provision of an adequate amount of non-market housing is a responsibility of government;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Housing as a Human Right Act.
2 It is declared to be the housing policy of the Government to
(a) recognize that the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right affirmed in international law;
(b) recognize that housing is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to building sustainable and inclusive communities;
(c) support improved housing outcomes for the people of the Province; and
(d) further the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
3 In implementing the housing policy, the Government shall
(a) take progressive action to realize the right to housing within a reasonable time;
(b) establish timelines to enable the Province to eliminate homelessness by 2030 in furtherance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals;
(c) commit the maximum available resources to increase access to affordable housing;
(d) address systemic inequality flowing from race, gender, disability and other grounds, the impacts of colonization and the rights of Indigenous communities including those in urban centres;
(e) give priority to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups living in precarious housing conditions;
(f) recognize the importance of publicly-owned and other non-market housing, and commit to increasing the overall share of such housing;
(g) set and publicly report on specific timelines and targets;
(h) base housing targets on matching the housing supply, including both market and non-market housing, to the housing needs in each community as determined by population and income data;
(i) require Housing Nova Scotia to gather and publish data on housing stock in the Province;
(j) commit to processes in which ongoing effective participation by a range of stakeholders is implemented;
(k) take appropriate steps to ensure that its business activities result in no net loss of affordable housing in each community;
(l) implement a standard that housing is affordable when it comprises, including utilities, no more than 30% of a household’s total income before taxes; and
(m) take steps to regulate land-use planning so that there is no net loss of affordable housing in each community.
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