Non-Profit Housing in Halifax Regional Municipality

This page summarizes research I conducted under the grant “Neighbourhood Inequality, Diversity, and Change: Trends, Processes, Consequences, and Policy Options for Canada’s Large Metropolitan Areas” (2012-2019, SSHRC Partnership Grant, principal applicant J. David Hulchanski, $2,500,000). The Halifax team for this project included:

  • Martha Radice (Associate Professor, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University)
  • Howard Ramos (Professor, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University)
  • Jill Grant (Professor Emeritus, School of Planning, Dalhousie University)
  • Ren Thomas (Assistant Professor, School of Planning, Dalhousie University)
  • Partner organization Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Partner organization United Way Halifax

My research assistants on the project were Adriane Salah, a Master of Planning student who conducted the first set of interviews during her degree and assisted me with the second set of interviews after graduation. Meredith Baldwin, a Bachelor of Community Design student, conducted further analysis on the interview data and the analysis of non-profit housing associations for her thesis. Adriane began work with the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia after graduation and Meredith with Ecology Action Centre.


Our final report summarizes the results from a policy review, interviews with non-profit and co-operative housing organizations in Halifax, and an analysis of non-profit housing associations who provide support and services to non-profit housing organizations. We found that non-profits and co-operatives faced different challenges, but co-operatives were more aware of policy and funding supporting their efforts to provide mixed-income housing because they were members of the Cooperative Housing Federation. Non-profits in Nova Scotia are unusual in that they do not have a parent organization, which could represent the needs of the small number of housing non-profits in the province, improve weak relationships with the provincial and federal governments, increase their awareness of policies and programs, provide education opportunities to address their lack of expertise (e.g. in financial and long-range planning), and provide valuable networking opportunities. But given the small number of non-profit housing associations in the province, it would be difficult to support such an organization with membership fees. Capacity building in this sector is likely now that the bilateral agreement between Nova Scotia and the federal government has been signed, so the number of non-profits may increase in the future. Our final report and article are linked below:

Thomas, R. and Salah, A (2019). The Preservation of Social Housing in Halifax: Limitations Facing Non-Profit & Co-operative Housing Providers

Thomas, R. and Salah, A. (2021) Supporting Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Housing and Society.