Halifax Water has announced it is taking new measures to help support affordable housing in the region.
The water utility recently received approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to waive a fee for affordable housing projects.
The fee is called a Regional Development Charge and it’s a cost paid by developers when a new building goes up.
The plan is to defer the collection of these charges on affordable housing units for up to 10 years, waiving interest for the first two.
The utility's communications and public relations manager says this should help remove some of the barriers to the initial development of affordable units.
“Affordable housing is a real issue in HRM and right across the province," says James Campbell. "So while it’s not really a responsibility of Halifax Water, this is a real initiative that will support those projects."
Campbell adds no extra charge will be passed onto ratepayers.
“The UARB is very adamant that anybody who’s receiving a service to pay for that service so, again, current customers are not going to be subsidizing any new development anywhere,” he says.
According to Campbell, anything to remove barriers from creating affordable housing is a good thing.
“We hope this will be greeted well by the development community, and we expect it will.”