Why does HRM need a poverty solutions strategy?

    Accepting poverty in our city is not just a case of lost human potential for individuals; it is also lost economic opportunity for our municipality. While Halifax is one of the fastest growing economies, we can do better to ensure more individuals and families are benefiting from this growth. Consider for instance:

    1 in 8 in our city live below the measure of Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)

    1 in 4 families are spending 30 per cent or more of their income on housing and every year

    1,700 users access shelters in our city

    1 in 7 households in our city are food insecure – which means they don’t have the food they need to live healthy lives and are at greater risk of illness.

    We need to do more to ensure more people share in Halifax’s success, to find opportunity and to find hope. It truly is time for our municipality to take a community-wide approach to poverty.

    How are individuals and other organizations involved in the development?

    We are building a process that ensures our strategy is inclusive and informed by many voices from across our city. We know creating effective, sustainable solutions to address poverty requires multi-sector collaboration – non-profit sector, business community, government at all levels, academia and citizens with lived experience.

    We also know that we are not starting at zero. There has already been a considerable amount of valuable work done by others in our industry in relation to ending poverty. Our hope is that we can learn from this existing work and continue to add value to it by bringing multi-sector groups together.

    How are the provincial and federal governments involved?

    Municipal governments across the country are acting as conveners and advocates in the development of poverty reduction or elimination strategies. Given the limited mandates of the city and the breadth of pillars of the proposed strategy, it’s no question the provincial and federal governments will play a big role in ensuring success. We’re ready and willing to manage that facilitation.