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.
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.
“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.
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.”