collaboration between all levels of government and private sector developments that combine residential, commercial and community space more diverse and vibrant communities helping seniors age in their homes creating more options for home ownership Nova Scotians confirmed the province is on the right track to create its first housing strategy. The feedback was in response to the discussion paper, A Housing Strategy for Nova Scotia, and is a major part of the project. More than 500 people participated in the consultations across the province, which began in November, including about 100 written submissions that were received before the Jan. 15 deadline. Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse also met with key housing partners, the Acadian community, persons with disabilities, and off-reserve First Nations groups. “I’m very pleased with the level of participation we have received to date. We have heard from people with a variety of interests and backgrounds and are encouraged by the feedback we are hearing,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “The input will help us develop a strategy that offers people better affordable housing options and community supports.” The public consultations were based on four proposed pillars: “Participants at our public sessions told us that they want to be engaged throughout the process and we will continue to seek their feedback on various aspects of the strategy and are always open to input,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “We are committed to being a significant player in housing now and in the future.” Some of the most common suggestions were: building diverse, mixed communities acting as a catalyst for partnership and change making owning a home more affordable making housing the first step to greater independence Summaries from each session are available at http://housing.novascotia.ca. The province will launch the housing strategy in early spring.