Duncan Williams on the Troubling Numbers Behind Nova Scotia’s Housing Shortage

Housing is a problem not only in Atlantic Canada but across the country. Unprecedented population growth has put significant pressures on the supply of housing, leading to higher housing prices and rental rates.

This week’s episode features a fascinating conversation with Duncan Williams, the long-serving CEO and president of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. Don, David, and Duncan take a close look at the current housing challenges and what needs to be done to ensure the supply of housing keeps up with rising demand.

Their conversation underscores the reality that closing the current gap will take some time and one of the issues that need to be addressed is the shortage of workers in the construction industry. Williams estimates Nova Scotia’s construction industry must hire 11,000 new workers by 2030 just to replace the ones retiring. He adds that, for the province to grow to 2 million people, we must build 13,000-to-15,000 new homes a year. Right now, we’re building less than 6,000 a year. Labour shortages are only adding to that problem.

The trio also discusses what needs to be done to ensure the availability of affordable housing and the roles that the private sector and governments play in resolving this particular challenge.

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