Study to look at housing in college towns

Justin Dickie
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David Bruce wants to make sure all Nova Scotia Community College students in small towns have an affordable place to live.

Bruce, director of Mount Allison Universitys Rural and Small Town Programme, recently received $25,000 from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations External Research Program to look into the barriers to and opportunities for affordable housing in small towns with NSCC campuses.

David Bruce wants to make sure all Nova Scotia Community College students in small towns have an affordable place to live.

Bruce, director of Mount Allison Universitys Rural and Small Town Programme, recently received $25,000 from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations External Research Program to look into the barriers to and opportunities for affordable housing in small towns with NSCC campuses.

His research will take place over the next 15 months in Truro, Stellarton, and Port Hawkesbury.

He said that at this point he doesnt know how the research might relate to the other small towns with NSCCs, like Springhill, but hopes whatever he finds will be useful.

The hope is that the information we collect, the way we analyze the information, find out whats going on and what might be some solutions to any potential challenges that we find may be useful for communities in other parts of the province and other provinces that also have community college campuses, Bruce said.

He said the main issue in small towns with college campuses is that there tends to be an overall lack of housing options, whether youre a student or permanent resident. He added that these colleges used to be structured for people already living in the community, but restructuring of NSCC as a whole a few years ago has meant more people travelling to new communities for school.

Im not saying there are no places for people to live, but thats a question that we want to explore, Bruce said.

NSCC in Springhill doesnt think there is housing issue in the community.

I think theres adequate housing for students available if they dont mind a boarding house. Its probably the cheapest way to go, said Heather Rushton, who keeps track of housing at NSCC in Springhill. I would say overall students would have good luck finding housing around here.



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Small Town Programme

Geographic location: Springhill, Truro, Stellarton Port Hawkesbury

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