“Some communities need more housing, some communities need more social support,” says Wayne MacNaughton, former chair of the CAB.
McNaughtn says changing regulations could deny funding to new start-up groups, such as the methadone clinic Direction 180, which started thanks to HPS funding. Also endangered is Community Action on Homelessness’ research and advocacy work, which receives 10 percent of the HPS money. CAH’s research determines where the greatest need for housing lies, and should the funding end, says MacNaughton, “there is no fallback” to continue research and advocacy for the homeless.
Halifax MP Megan Leslie says she likes the community decision-making aspect of the HPS. “This money works because it is done on a community model,” she says. “My criticism is that this is not a long-term housing strategy. The community groups can’t plan for the future, the workers start looking for other jobs. Every two years we go through this; it’s no way to address homelessness.”