Housing Act

Link to law: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/housing.htm
Published: 2016-01-05

Housing Act

CHAPTER 211 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, 1989

amended 2008, c. 2, s. 7; 2011, c. 8, s. 6size>

An Act Respecting Housing

Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Housing Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 1.

Interpretation

2 In this Act,
(a) "Board" means the Housing Development Board;
(b) "Department" means the Department of Housing;
(c) "Deputy Minister" means the Deputy Minister of Housing;
(d) "housing" means any buildings or structures suitable for human habitation and which are primarily used for that purpose;
(e) "housing authority" means a housing authority for a municipality or a regional housing authority and includes a reconstituted, amalgamated or continued housing authority;
(f) "Minister" means the Minister of Housing;
(g) "municipality" means a city, an incorporated town or a municipality of a county or district. R.S., c. 211, s. 2.

Purpose of Act

3 The purpose of this Act is to improve and increase the housing stock of the Province. R.S., c. 211, s. 3.

Supervision of Act

4 (1) The Minister has the general supervision and management of this Act.
(2) Under the direction of the Minister, the Deputy Minister shall
(a) supervise the administration and management of the Department; and
(b) perform such duties as the Minister or the Governor in Council assigns to the Deputy Minister. R.S., c. 211, s. 4.

Personnel

5 (1) Such persons as are necessary for the administration of this Act and the regulations shall be appointed in accordance with the Civil Service Act.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, engage upon such terms and conditions as the Minister deems fit the services of such professional or technical persons and experts to advise the Minister as the Minister deems necessary for the efficient carrying out of this Act and the regulations. R.S., c. 211, s. 5.

Agreements

6 (1) The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council and on behalf of Her Majesty in right of the Province, enter into agreements with the Government of Canada, the government of a province or a municipality or an agency of any of them, or any person for the purpose of this Act.
(2) Every municipality may enter into agreements with the Minister pursuant to this Act or the regulations. R.S., c. 211, s. 6.

Municipal funding

6A Notwithstanding any enactment or agreement, the Minister of Community Services shall enter into agreements with municipalities with respect to municipal funding for public housing to phase out that funding over a two-year period beginning April 1, 2010. 2008, c. 2, s. 7.

Municipal contribution fifty per cent

6B Notwithstanding Section 6A or any agreement, the Minister and the municipalities are deemed to have entered into agreements under which the municipalities shall pay fifty per cent of the municipal contribution required by the public housing project agreements between the Province, the municipalities and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and its predecessor Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to public housing losses incurred for the 2010-11 fiscal year. 2011, c. 8, s. 6.

Municipal contribution one hundred per cent

6C Effective April 1, 2012,
(a) notwithstanding any enactment or agreement, municipalities shall pay one hundred per cent of the municipal contribution to public housing losses, incurred for 2011-12 and subsequent fiscal years, as required by the public housing project agreements between the Province, the municipalities and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and its predecessor Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and
(b) Sections 6A and 6B have no force or effect. 2011, c. 8, s. 6.

Agreements not requiring approval

7 Notwithstanding Sections 5 and 6, the Minister may enter into agreements respecting
(a) routine matters regarding, or emergency maintenance of, real or personal property within the administrative responsibility of the Minister; or
(b) matters arising from projects approved pursuant to this Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 7.

Acquisition of property

8 (1) The Minister may acquire any estate or interest in real and personal property for
(a) the purpose of implementing or carrying out any agreement or arrangement entered into pursuant to this Act or the regulations;
(b) the purpose of any housing program or development;
(c) research into housing;
(d) any other purpose in relation to a matter under the administration of the Minister,
and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may take mortgages or other security with respect to real or personal property.
(2) An acquisition pursuant to subsection (1) of any estate or interest in real property requires the approval of the Governor in Council where the real property acquired in a single transaction exceeds twenty-five acres.
(3) The Minister may expropriate any estate or interest in real property which the Governor in Council deems necessary or useful for the attainment of the objects of this Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 8.

Disposal of property

9 (1) The Minister may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any estate or interest in real or personal property acquired by or vested in the Minister pursuant to this Act.
(2) A disposal pursuant to subsection (1) of any estate or interest in real property requires the approval of the Governor in Council where the real property disposed of in a single transaction exceeds twenty-five acres. R.S., c. 211, s. 9.

The Nova Scotia Housing Commission

10 (1) All rights and privileges of The Nova Scotia Housing Commission are hereby vested in accordance with this Act in the Minister and all obligations of the Commission hereby become obligations of the Minister.
(2) All right, title and interest of The Nova Scotia Housing Commission in any real or personal property are hereby vested in the Minister.
(3) The Nova Scotia Housing Commission is dissolved and the Minister is the successor in title.
(4) A reference in any Act of the Legislature, in any rule, order, regulation, by-law, ordinance or proceeding or in any document whatsoever to The Nova Scotia Housing Commission, whether such reference is by official name or otherwise, shall as regards any subsequent transaction, matter or thing be held and construed to be a reference to the Minister. R.S., c. 211, s. 10.

Borrowing

11 For the purpose of this Act, the Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may borrow money from the Government of Canada. R.S., c. 211, s. 11.

Administration of property

12 Any estate or interest in real and personal property acquired by or vested in the Minister pursuant to this Act is under the Minister's administration. R.S., c. 211, s. 12.

Acquisition or disposal of property by Minister

13 (1) Any estate or interest in real and personal property acquired by or vested in the Minister or sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the Minister for the purpose of this Act are acquired by or vested in or sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the Minister on behalf of Her Majesty in right of the Province.
(2) Any estate or interest in real and personal property acquired by, vested in, sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the Minister shall be acquired, vested, sold, leased or otherwise disposed of in such manner and by such designation as may be determined by the regulations.
(3) Documents required to be executed in respect of the acquisition, vesting, sale, lease or disposition of estates or interests in real or personal property under this Act shall be executed as determined by the regulations. R.S., c. 211, s. 13.

Housing Development Board

14 (1) There is hereby established a board under the name of the Housing Development Board.
(2) The Board consists of such members as are appointed to it by the Governor in Council.
(3) The Governor in Council may designate one member of the Board to be Chairman and one member to be Vice-chairman.
(4) The members of the Board shall receive such remuneration and allowances as determined by the Governor in Council.
(5) The members of the Board shall be paid such reasonable expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as are determined by the Governor in Council.
(6) A vacancy on the Board does not impair the right of the remaining members to act.
(7) Each member of the Board holds office for the term prescribed in his appointment, unless his appointment is sooner revoked by the Governor in Council, and is eligible for re-appointment to the Board.
(8) The Governor in Council may appoint persons to fill vacancies occurring from time to time on the Board.
(9) The object and purpose of the Board is to approve loans in accordance with the regulations and do such other things as the Minister may determine or as provided in the regulations.
(10) The Minister may, subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, delegate any of his powers, duties or functions under this Act or the regulations to the Board. R.S., c. 211, s. 14.

Advisory committees and councils

15 (1) The Governor in Council may establish any committees or councils he considers necessary or desirable to act in an advisory capacity in connection with any of the policies, programs, services or other matters under the administration of the Minister.
(2) The Governor in Council may, with respect to any committee or council established under this Section,
(a) appoint or provide for the manner of appointment of its members;
(b) prescribe the term of office of any member;
(c) designate a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary; and
(d) authorize, fix and provide for the payment of remuneration and expenses to its members.
(3) The Minister may make rules of procedure governing the calling of meetings and the conduct of business at meetings of a committee or council established pursuant to this Section.
(4) A committee or council established pursuant to this Section may exercise the powers and shall perform the duties and functions that the Governor in Council approves, confers or imposes on it. R.S., c. 211, s. 15.

Studies

16 The Minister may undertake any studies he considers advisable to carry out the intent and purpose of this Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 16.

Projects

17 Except as otherwise provided by this Act, the Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may, on behalf of the Province, acting alone or jointly with the Government of Canada, the government of a province, an agency of any of those governments, a municipality or any person, undertake, establish, operate and maintain for housing, urban renewal or other purposes, projects of all types and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may
(a) study housing needs and conditions;
(b) encourage and promote public and private initiative in housing and neighbourhood improvement matters;
(c) provide services to or otherwise develop real property;
(d) construct, hold, maintain and manage housing projects or other housing accommodation of the hostel or dormitory type for sale or for rent;
(e) construct, hold, operate, manage and maintain commercial or recreational facilities or any combination of both;
(f) improve and convert existing buildings for a housing project or for housing accommodation of the hostel or dormitory type;
(g) prepare and carry out plans for neighbourhood improvement;
(h) encourage and promote co-operative housing through the formation and organization of companies for the purpose of building and providing sufficient and suitable housing units in any part of the Province and selling and leasing the housing units;
(i) encourage and promote the formation and incorporation of limited-dividend housing companies and non-profit corporations eligible for loans under the National Housing Act (Canada);
(j) construct, acquire, renovate and maintain housing units of all types and sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such housing units on such terms and conditions as may be determined;
(k) encourage the construction of student housing projects or the acquisition of existing buildings and their conversion into student housing projects and for that purpose encourage and promote the formation and incorporation of charitable corporations eligible for loans under the National Housing Act (Canada);
(l) establish housing projects and construct housing accommodation of all types for sale or for rent;
(m) plan, design, build, own, maintain, manage and operate housing projects. R.S., c. 211, s. 17.

Waiver of fees

18 The Governor in Council may waive, for such period as he determines, the payment by a company or corporation established for any of the purposes of this Act of fees under the Companies Act, the Corporations Registration Act or any other Act relating to the incorporation or registration of companies. R.S., c. 211, s. 18.

Municipal powers respecting taxation

19 Subject to the regulations, a municipality may
(a) limit the municipal taxes levied in respect of the property owned by a company or corporation established for the purposes of this Act for such period as the municipality may determine;
(b) exempt from municipal taxation or limit the municipal taxes levied in respect of the property owned by a charitable corporation eligible for loans pursuant to Section 88 of the National Housing Act (Canada). R.S., c. 211, s. 19.

Housing Development Fund

20 (1) For the purposes of this Act, the special account established in the Department of Finance and known as the Housing Development Fund is continued.
(2) The Governor in Council may from time to time transfer to the Fund and charge to Capital Account such sum or sums as are considered necessary for the purpose of this Act or, if it is considered expedient so to do, the Minister of Finance, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may transfer the said sum or sums out of the Special Reserve Account of the Province or out of the Revenue of the Province for any year or years.
(3) All disbursements in respect of loans and capital costs of acquiring and developing property made under this Act shall be made out of the Fund.
(4) All repayments and all recoveries made in respect of any loan or other transaction out of the Fund shall be paid or credited to the Fund.
(5) Subject to this Act, all money from time to time to the credit of the Fund may be employed or re-employed for the purpose of this Act.
(6) Accounting in respect of the Fund shall be based on the fiscal year of the Province, and the Minister shall ensure that financial statements are prepared not later than the thirty-first day of December in each fiscal year respecting the assets, liabilities and continuity of the Fund for the previous fiscal year and that the financial statements are tabled at the next ensuing session of the Legislature.
(7) The accounts respecting the Housing Development Fund shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor General at least once every year and at such other times as the Governor in Council may direct. R.S., c. 211, s. 20.

Municipal housing authorities

21 (1) The Governor in Council may constitute a body corporate to be a housing authority for a municipality and prescribe its membership and the manner of appointment of members.
(2) The housing authority shall be known as the "(name of municipality) Housing Authority".
(3) The housing authority may, upon the request of the municipality and with the approval of the Minister,
(a) act as an agent for the municipality in respect of any matter relating to housing or neighbourhood improvement or both;
(b) operate and manage a housing project as the agent for the parties to a housing or urban renewal agreement entered into pursuant to this Act; and
(c) exercise such other powers, rights and privileges and carry out such other functions and duties as are given to it pursuant to this Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 21.

Regional housing authorities

22 (1) The Governor in Council may constitute a body corporate to be a regional housing authority, having the name prescribed by the order constituting it, and may prescribe its membership and the manner of their appointment.
(2) A regional housing authority has the powers and duties of a housing authority for a municipality on behalf of each of the municipalities that requested its establishment. R.S., c. 211, s. 22.

Housing authorities continued

23 A housing authority for a municipality or a regional housing authority incorporated pursuant to Chapter 7 of the Acts of 1966 or Chapter 129 of the Revised Statutes, 1967, is continued as a housing authority for a municipality or a regional housing authority, respectively, under this Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 23.

Powers of Governor in Council

24 The Governor in Council may dissolve, amalgamate with another housing authority or reconstitute a housing authority constituted pursuant to Section 21 or 22 or continued pursuant to Section 23 and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may
(a) prescribe its membership and the manner of appointment of members;
(b) name or rename it;
(c) determine its organization and internal management;
(d) vest in it such powers, rights, privileges, functions and duties as the Governor in Council considers advisable including the power to manage, operate and maintain public housing projects and housing accommodation. R.S., c. 211, s. 24.

General authority of Minister

25 Notwithstanding any provision of this Act or any special or general Act, where the Minister so determines, the Minister
(a) has the general management, supervision and authority over any housing authority, whether constituted, reconstituted, amalgamated or continued before or after the coming into force of this Section; and
(b) without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make any order as the Minister deems advisable or necessary for the proper management or operation of the housing authority. R.S., c. 211, s. 25.

Regulations

26 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting the engagement of personnel by the Minister;
(b) respecting agreements which may be entered into by the Minister;
(c) prescribing the duties of the Board;
(d) authorizing the Minister to provide financial assistance;
(e) prescribing the purposes for which financial assistance may be given;
(f) governing applications for financial assistance;
(g) prescribing the persons or organizations or classes of persons or organizations eligible for financial assistance;
(h) specifying the conditions required to be met by any applicant for financial assistance to render that person eligible for the financial assistance;
(i) prescribing the conditions on which a grant is made and requiring the repayment of the grant to the Province if the conditions are not met;
(j) providing for the payment of any grant in a lump sum or by instalments and prescribing the time or times at which the grant or the instalments may be paid;
(k) limiting the amount of any financial assistance or class of financial assistance that may be given;
(l) authorizing the Minister to delegate in writing to any employee of the Province any duty, power or function vested in him pursuant to this Act;
(m) requiring any person receiving a grant or loan to account for the way in which the grant or loan is spent in whole or in part;
(n) authorizing the Minister to enter into an agreement with respect to any matter relating to the giving of financial assistance;
(o) authorizing the Minister to make loans for the purposes of this Act;
(p) prescribing the conditions on which a loan is made and the duties and obligations of a person to whom a loan is made or given during the period that his indebtedness is outstanding;
(q) prescribing the class of security which may be given to the Province by applicants in consideration of financial assistance;
(r) respecting the limitation of municipal taxes by municipalities in respect of property owned by a company or corporation established for the purposes of this Act;
(s) respecting the approval of loans by the Board;
(t) prescribing additional functions of the Board;
(u) prescribing the powers and duties of municipalities for the purposes of this Act and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, including the power to expropriate land or an interest therein;
(v) establishing and governing a mortgage insurance fund to permit the Minister to insure loans for the purposes of housing;
(w) respecting execution of documents and the designation of the Minister therein;
(x) respecting the operation, management and supervision of a housing authority;
(y) prescribing forms for the purposes of this Act and the regulations;
(z) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(aa) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent or purpose of this Act.
(2) Any regulation made pursuant to subsection (1) may be specific or general in its application.
(3) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in this Section shall be regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act. R.S., c. 211, s. 26.

Administration expenses

27 Unless otherwise provided, expenses incurred pursuant to this Act shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of the Province. R.S., c. 211, s. 27.
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