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Mayor Says New By-Law Will Improve Residential Housing Standards

(Friday, October 12, 2001)--- Mayor Peter Kelly says a proposed new by-law will set higher standards for residential rental properties throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality and will ensure that such housing units are "warm, safe and dry", particularly rooming or lodging houses.

Mayor Kelly said the main objective of By-law M-100 ---"Standards for Residential Occupancies"-- will give HRM the authority it needs to order necessary improvements to some existing residential housing units, not just in the urban core but throughout the entire municipality.

In addition to the usual standards, the new by-law includes provisions for "comfort and convenience" standards related to wall and floor finishes, minimum room sizes and requirements for kitchens which exceed Building or other Code requirements.

Regional Council had requested staff to prepare a regional by-law and action plan to address issues related to the safety and condition of residential occupancies in the municipality. The condition of certain housing, particularly rooming/lodging house buildings, has been of particular concern to Council.

The new by-law will replace existing "minimum standards" by-laws from the former municipalities of Halifax, Dartmouth and the County of Halifax with a new harmonized one which will apply throughout HRM.

Mayor Kelly said "Our goal is to establish standards that will ensure safe, adequate living conditions within existing residential housing units. The new by-law imposes higher standards for upgrading and maintenance of rooming houses, as well as provisions to license and annually inspect these facilities so that they will be adequately maintained."

He added "Council thought these additional standards were necessary because the Building Code does not adequately address rooming houses, specifically as a unique housing form. Our by-law will not only harmonize existing, related by-laws, but will establish additional requirements for lodging or rooming houses."

The new by-law is expected to be presented to Regional Council and tabled at its regular meeting on October 23rd.

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Mayor Peter Kelly
(902) 490-4010

Above content last modified Friday, September 08, 2023 at 3:28pm.