The Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia is buying a Dartmouth hotel and converting it to supportive housing for 65 people.
AHANS is buying the Travelodge Suites by Wyndham Halifax Dartmouth, located at 101 Yorkshire Ave Ext., off Windmill Road in Dartmouth, using a mix of provincial and federal funding directed through the municipal government targeted toward deeply affordable housing.
Halifax regional council approved a proposal from AHANS to use about $6.3 million in federal money from the Rapid Housing Initiative to convert an existing non-residential building, as the Halifax Examiner reported in September:
Rooms in that building would be “targeted to individuals who are homeless and live with two or more mental health, addiction and chronic health issues.” The North End Community Health Association would help with the supports, and at least a quarter of the rooms would be reserved for women.
AHANS doesn’t yet own the building, and in an interview [in August], executive director Jim Graham said he’s not in a position to say exactly where it is.
Graham said if the proposal is approved by CMHC, the units could be occupied by the winter.
Along with this federal funding, AHANS has a commitment for $3.5 million from the provincial government for capital costs and more for operating, plus $2.4 million from another federal program called Reaching Home.
“It’s something that I would say we haven’t seen enough of, which is, instead of folks getting in each other’s way, actually sitting down and figure out how they can pull all this together, so that’s also a quite exciting prospect.”
The sale doesn’t appear to have closed yet, but as part of its approval this week of Centre Plan Package B, new planning rules for peninsular Halifax and urban Dartmouth, Halifax regional council rezoned the property to allow the use.
The Centre Plan would have zoned the building for commercial use, but staff recommended changes earlier this month to zone the property as Higher-Order Residential.
“While the immediate surrounding area is considered commercial-industrial, the area as a whole is located amongst residential uses, including Shannon Park, which is planned to introduce approximately 3,000 units to the area,” Ben Sivak, community policy program manager, wrote in a report to council.
“While staff did originally recommend that the area should be retained for commercial and light industrial uses, the site is considered appropriate for residential uses due to access to transit and several amenities.”
An employee on the front desk confirmed to the Examiner by phone that Thursday is the last day the hotel will be open. He said he found out about the sale a couple weeks ago.
The sale price isn’t yet publicly listed. According to ViewPoint Realty, the building last sold in January 2019 for $4.2 million.