Housing Accelerator Fund

On March 12, 2024, it was announced that West Hants Regional Municipality was the recipient of $1,081,886 through the Housing Accelerator Fund. West Hants Regional Municipality is committed to creating vibrant communities that provide a range of housing options for our residents.


About the Housing Accelerator Fund

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Housing Accelerator Fund is an initiative aimed at accelerating the creation of new housing developments across the country. Through this program, municipalities like ours can access funding and resources to streamline the development process and bring much-needed housing to the market faster.


logos for HAF


Our Commitment to Streamlining Housing Development

In West Hants Regional Municipality, we recognize the importance of providing housing options for our residents. Whether you're a young family looking for your first home, a professional seeking rental accommodation, or a senior looking to downsize, we strive to ensure there are housing options that are accessible and affordable for all demographics.

With the assistance of the Housing Accelerator Fund, we are implementing innovative strategies to accelerate the development of new housing projects. By streamlining our regulatory processes and facilitating partnerships with developers and landowners, we aim to create a more efficient and responsive housing market that meets the needs of our growing community.


Benefits of the Program

• Faster Development: By changing the land use regulations, we can bring new housing units to the market in a shorter timeframe and in new housing formats that provide more options.
• Increased Affordability: Through policy changes, we are working to ensure that new housing developments can include a mix of affordable housing options.
• Community Engagement: We are committed to engaging with residents, developers, landowners, and local organizations to ensure that new housing projects align with the needs and values of our community.


Get Involved

Are you a developer interested in partnering with us to create new housing opportunities in West Hants Regional Municipality? Are you a resident with ideas or feedback on how we can improve housing in our community? We want to hear from you! Get in touch with our Planning team to learn more about how you can get involved.

Contact the Planning and Development Department:

mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone 902-798-8391 ext. 148


Housing Action Plan

A Housing Action Plan was created as part of the application for the Housing Accelerator Fund. Details on the 7 actions that are funded through the Housing Accelerator Fund are listed below.


#1: Allow greater density as-of-right
#2: Create affordable housing policy requirements
#3: Reduce parking requirements
#4: Remove permit fees for accessory dwelling units
#5: Promote infill development
#6: Promote alternative housing forms
#7: Upgrade permit software


Action #1: Allow greater density as-of-right

 WHRM intends to amend the planning documents to increase the ability for new homes to be built, which may include the following changes:

• Gentle density increases like rezoning Single Unit Residential (R-1) zoned properties to the Two Unit Residential (R-2) zone.
• Allow an increased number of units as-of-right in other residential zones.
• Update minimum zone requirements (setbacks, height, lot coverage etc.) to allow for more flexible designs on smaller lots.


Action #2: Create affordable housing policy requirements

WHRM intends to amend the planning documents to incentivize affordable housing to be included within residential and mixed-use developments.


Action #3: Reduce parking requirements

WHRM intends to amend the planning documents to reduce minimum parking requirements within serviced areas. The current parking requirements can be a cost factor and deterrent for a variety of developments including small to medium-scale infill projects. In communities where services, amenities, and recreation spaces are within walking distance, parking minimums will be reconsidered.


Action #4: Remove permit fees for accessory dwelling units

WHRM intends to eliminate the cost of building and development permit fees that are normally charged for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) like secondary suites, across the entire Municipality. This cost savings is expected to run for the period of the Housing Accelerator Funding availability and is intended to reduce the cost of establishing new ADUs.


Action #5: Promote Infill Development

WHRM intends on identifying opportunity sites and working with landowners to connect them with potential developers to help utilize vacant land within WHRM’s serviced communities. Infill development can increase housing options within our existing communities, while making more efficient use of existing services like central water, sewer, and sidewalks.


Action #6: Promote Alternative Housing Forms

WHRM intends to utilize pre-approved designs that focus on the 'missing middle' style of residential development, including townhouses and low-rise to mid-rise multi-unit buildings in certain locations. These pre-approved designs could offer a complete set of building plans available to anyone for a nominal fee and illustrate where these housing forms are permitted.

*The original Housing Action Plan provided a different direction for this Action that was not consistent with the funding objectives of CMHC. The scope of this action was edited to explore pre-approved designs.


Action #7: Upgrade permit software

WHRM intends on updating its permitting software to provide applicants with a faster process for building and development permit applications, while also enabling online payment methods.