Construction is underway on hundreds of new homes for students at three Nova Scotia Community College campuses.

The provincial government is spending $112 million to build student residences with 350 beds: 200 at NSCC’s Ivany Campus in Dartmouth, 100 at its Akerley Campus in Dartmouth, and 50 at its Pictou Campus in Stellarton. The Akerley and Stellarton residences are expected to open in September 2024, while the Ivany residence is slated for 2025.

“The first step in post-secondary students seeing Nova Scotia as their home is when they have a place to call home,” Advanced Education Minister Brian Wong said Monday at the Akerley Campus.

A rendering shows the residence being built at the Ivany Campus, to the left of the main building. Credit: NSCC/FBM

Premier Tim Houston’s PC government announced the new residences as part of its overall plan for housing in October 2021.

Workers are building now at the Akerley and Pictou campuses. Wong said there was a fence going up to start work at the Ivany campus Monday morning.

‘Safe, affordable, and inclusive housing’

Taralee Hammond, NSCC’s associate vice president of student affairs, said access to affordable housing is a known barrier to education.

“I’ve heard first hand student concerns about housing availability, an issue that appears to be growing nationwide,” Hammond said.

Taralee Hammond, NSCC associate vice president of student affairs, speaks to reporters after the announcement on Monday. Credit: Zane Woodford

“All three projects will provide safe, affordable, and inclusive housing options for students in Nova Scotia.”

Hammond told reporters the price will be in line with the cost of residences at its Annapolis Valley and Strait Area campuses. Those prices, Hammond said, range from about $6,800 to $10,000 for a school year, depending on the size of the unit and whether there’s a meal plan included, much like university residence.

There’s no consideration of a student’s income in that pricing, Hammond said. But there are bursaries and awards available to low-income students that can cover residence.

Nova Scotia Advanced Education Minister Brian Wong speaks during the announcement on Monday. Credit: Zane Woodford

Wong said assistance for student housing could be part of the student housing strategy his department is working on now.

“Every option is on the table,” Wong said. “We haven’t finalized our student housing report yet.”

There’s a preliminary report complete, Wong said, with the final report coming “soon.”

Zane Woodford

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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  1. S112 million / 350 beds = $320,000
    Zane, that works out to $320,000 per BED. What am I missing?

    ROBERT