Halifax approves nine new designated sites for homeless as existing space full

  • Canadian Press

Halifax councillors approved a nine new locations for designated homeless encampments. A sign advocating for support for the homeless is seen through a fenced-in homeless encampment in Victoria Park in Halifax's downtown on Monday, March 4, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX -- Halifax has approved nine new sites to be used as tenting locations for people experiencing homelessness as the city grapples with a housing crisis and a growing number of unhoused people.

Bill Moore, executive director of the city's community safety department, said Tuesday at Halifax City Hall there are more than 85 people at the four green spaces the municipality has currently designated to be used as homeless encampments.

Moore says the nine new sites will act as a "pressure release" as the current designated areas have reached capacity.

The nine new locations include seven on the Halifax peninsula, including Bayers Road Windsor Street Park, BiHi Park, Chain Lake Park, Cogswell Park, Glebe Street Park, Halifax Common berm, and Point Pleasant Park.

Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Bissett Road Park and the Geary Street green space were selected as designated sites.

All locations were chosen for their proximity to public transit and other services, and for their distance from schools, parks, gardens, or culturally sensitive areas.

In February, Halifax asked unhoused people to leave Victoria Park and four other previously authorized encampments -- including in front of city hall.

The list that tracks people experiencing homelessness in Halifax has grown to 1,316 people.

This report by was first published July 10, 2024.