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Health-Care Worker Housing Shortages Promoted Nova Scotia’s Purchase of Motel

The Nova Scotia government has purchased a motel to house health-care workers recruited to work on the province’s South Shore.

The move is meant to help alleviate housing shortages and will see the province convert the former Wheelhouse Motel, in Lunenburg, N.S., into mixed-income housing.

Investment in the first phase of the project is $4.7 million, including $1.5 million to purchase the property, $1.4 million for renovations and $1.8 million for six modular townhouses.

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The site is to include up to 12 one-bedroom units along with six townhouses suitable for families, with rent to be based on income.

Nova Scotia says health-care workers will be given priority to rent the units, followed by skilled trades professionals.

The province identified the South Shore as a region in acute need of housing for health-care workers, along with the communities of Sydney, Guysborough, Antigonish, Inverness, Colchester and Cumberland.

“We need more professionals for our health-care system and that means attracting people from across Canada and around the world to our province,” Health Minister Michelle Thompson said in a news release. “Having available housing in places outside Halifax Regional Municipality is key to attracting much-needed staff and keeping them here.”

Officials say the Lunenburg site is in the design phase and that contractors and other suppliers are still to be chosen.

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