AHANS was established in the mid-1980's and registered as a non-profit society in 1990.
Broadly speaking AHANS vision is to help make Nova Scotia a better place and our particular contribution to this goal is through our expertise in affordable non-profit housing. We draw inspiration from the City of Vienna which has used a municipally led non-profit as an effective and innovative model for providing superior, affordable housing since 1919.
We aspire to be a non-profit housing developer and provider at a scale that is resilient and self perpetuating, with housing that is built to serve its purpose measured in generations and able to meet the current and changing housing needs of local communities. Further, we believe that locally led responses to locally experienced housing issues create the opportunity for better economic, education and health outcomes for its community. Vibrant community housing can be the path to heightened general civic engagement.
AHANS believes in the value of respectful, mutually beneficial partnerships with the private sector and non-profit housing providers, and government agencies throughout the Province of Nova Scotia. It is this experience and involvement which inform our targeted approach to increase the provincial supply of affordable housing stock through the preservation of the current stock, the purchase existing units, and the develop new housing.
We believe that our work is not about “struggle’ and ‘confrontation’; it is about working with people to build credibility and confidence to reach common goals. We believe in working with the best, with those who are committed to the work at hand. We expect to pay what we are asked, to trust their advice and we expect 150% in return. We believe in evaluating our activities on our version of the triple bottom line – social, environmental and financial (defined in terms of liquidity and replacement reserve and not ROI) outcomes.
AHANS vision is perfectly aligned with the National Housing Strategy as it promotes diverse communities and the development of a new generation of housing that is mixed-income, mixed-use, accessible and sustainable.
Decent, affordable and sustainable housing is a basic human right and the first step toward personal, social, economic and cultural well-being and empowerment. The foremost concern of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia (AHANS), is the affordability, accessibility, and sustainability of the Province's housing stock as a whole.
The mission of AHANS is to promote access to decent and affordable housing through its development and construction, retention and upgrading in all parts of the Province.
AHANS aims for strategic impact on all of Nova Scotia's housing: urban & rural, private & non-profit, by being inclusive, multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary.
AHANS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our Board of Directors has between five and nine members, each of whom is committed to advancing the mission and goals of our Association. While the Board sets policy it trusts our highly qualified staff to get the job done. Sub-Committees and partnerships are established as needed. The lines of communication are short and decisions are made quickly.
We are directly involved in building affordable housing and in upgrading, protecting and better utilizing the province's existing stock. We are a knowledge- and experience-based organization. We do every project well, learn from it, and do the next one better. We are active learners and teachers and gladly share our knowledge and experience through our housing research, education, advocacy, and capacity building activities. Increasingly, the work of AHANS calls for freedom of movement and opinion which in turn demand financial independence. We look forward to the day when AHANS is a full-fledged social enterprise.
CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020-21
The current Board benefits from membership hailing from a broad range of backgrounds, each with a history of commitment to affordable housing issues:
Ian Gulliver, Chair
Grant Wanzel, Lifetime Member
COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Alisha Ross - Service Canada (Ex-Officio Member)
Nancy Baroni - Department of Community Services - Provincial/Territorial government
Jill MacLellan - City of Halifax - Local/Municipal government
Pam Glode – Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society - Indigenous Peoples and organizations
Miia Suokonautio – YWCA - Women/families fleeing violence organizations
Rob Morris – Phoenix Youth Programs - Youth and/or youth serving organizations
EJ Davis – North End Community Health Centre - Health organizations including hospitals focused on mental health and addictions
Dorothy Edem - Mental Health and Addictions, NSHA - Health organizations including hospitals focused on mental health and addictions
Sheri Lecker – Adsum for Women and Children - Organizations serving individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness
Vaden Vincent – Salvation Army - Organizations serving individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness
Katrina Jarvis – Association of Black Social Workers - People of African Descent
Jeff Karabanow – Dalhousie School of Social Work - Other
Kevin Hooper – United Way Halifax - Other
Valerie Getson – Saint Vincent de Paul Society - Other