22,600 New Housing Units to Hit Halifax

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Real Estate

It’s been no secret that the Halifax Real Estate Market has been extremely competitive over the past two years. Prices have risen by 26% (on average) since the beginning of the pandemic, and inventory reached an all-time low. The rest of Canada caught wind of our beautiful province, and many people relocated to our city when jobs turned to working from home. Property owners didn’t want to sell for fear of not finding their next home in our province. More people want in, and no one wants to leave. 


We said before that the province needed to approve development permits fast to increase supply for the eager buyers of the area, or prices could continue to climb at these unprecedented rates. We are finally seeing steps towards this!


It was announced on Friday, March 25, that the Nova Scotia Government designated nine new areas in the HRM as residential developments, which would be fast-tracked to produce 22,600 new housing units. Here is what we know so far:


As of May 24, 2022 (Taken from halifax.ca)


Penhorn Mall Lands (950 units)



Clayton Developments Limited and Crombie REIT are requesting to enter into a development agreement to allow a mixed-use community on the former Penhorn Mall Lands on Portland Street, Dartmouth.


The major aspects of the proposal include:

- 9 new development blocks 

- Approximately 860 apartment building units and 45 townhouse units

- An active transportation network with a trail next to the Circumferential Highway connecting Penhorn Lake to Portland Street

- A multi-use greenway through the site connecting Penhorn Lake and Brownlow Park

- A central public park approximately 2,636 square meters in size

- Ground floor commercial spaces located in Blocks A and B

- New streets and municipal services

- Additional park space and a new surface parking lot for users of Brownlow Park


Status: The application is under final review by municipal staff and external review agencies. A Development Agreement is being drafted and will be submitted to the Provincial Executive Panel on Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality for consideration and decision.


Southdale and Mount Hope (1,200 units)



Clayton Developments is proposing to develop 875 residential units in the form of multi-unit dwellings, four-unit dwellings, townhomes, and single-unit dwellings. This includes new roads, buildings, paths, and parks.


A.J. Legrow Limited is proposing to develop 3 multi-unit dwellings between 4 and 8 storeys, at the end of Fenwick Drive.


Portucana Holdings Limited is proposing to develop 9 multi-unit dwellings between 4 and 8 storeys each. 


Status: Municipal staff are currently drafting policies for the entire Future Growth Node (FGN) and a development agreement for the Clayton lands. The public will be invited to provide comments on the draft documents.


Bedford West sub-area 10 (1,300 units)



Clayton Developments requested the following be considered:


  • A simplified method to calculate permitted densities;
  • Reconsideration of a mixed residential development (typical Bedford West Sub Area) to enable primarily multiple-unit dwellings;
  • Increasing the allowable population to match the capacity of sewer infrastructure; and
  • The ability for multiple development agreements for portions of the sub-area rather than a single development agreement for the entire sub-area.


Status: On March 24, 2022, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing ordered that this area be a special planning area in accordance with the Halifax Regional Municipality.


Bedford West sub-areas 1 and 12 (2,500 units)



Clayton Developments is applying to develop a new subdivision on 238 acres of land between Hammonds Plains Road and Larry Uteck Boulevard. Clayton Developments is the major landholder, and they are working with 15 other property owners.


  • About 2,100 units in multi-unit buildings, including tall mid-rise buildings (final density and height to be determined)
  • Over 400 ground-based units, including single-unit, two-units, and townhomes (final unit mix to be determined)
  • Over 14,400 square meters (155,000 square feet) of commercial and institutional space
  • A final population of about 5,200 
  • New public streets, and a mix of uses and building types
  • A commercial or mixed-use area at the corner of Larry Uteck Boulevard and Hammonds Plains Road
  • New parkland and trails


Status: Regional Council Staff are currently reviewing and drafting land-use policies for the area. 


Port Wallace (up to 4,900 units)



The Regional Plan identifies Port Wallace as a potential future growth area—a new community to be serviced with municipal services. 


Status: Still in the comprehensive planning process


Indigo Shores (150 lots)



HRM initiated a comprehensive secondary planning process for the Middle Sackville Urban Local Growth Centre to enable mixed residential, commercial, institutional and recreational uses on lands surrounding the Highway 101 – Margeson Drive interchange in Middle Sackville.


Status: In accordance with the Housing for the Halifax Regional Municipality Act and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for the Province of Nova Scotia, Phase 1 of the Margeson Drive Master Plan has been designated as a Special Planning Area. Now that it has been approved by the Minister, the development of the Indigo shores subdivision will no longer be limited to a maximum rate of 25 lots per calendar year.


Please note that Phases 2 and 3 of the Margeson Drive Master Plan process have been put on hold until further notice.


Morris Lake (3,100 units)



The secondary planning process of this new serviced community has been initiated due to our government designating the Morris Lake area as a special planning area. 


Status: Additional studies on the suitability of the area must be conducted.


Dartmouth Crossing (2,500 units)



Dartmouth Crossing Limited wishes to build a new residential and commercial area. The land is undeveloped. This would involve building new roads, buildings, and parks. The planning process will create a site plan and new policy for the area. 


Status: Regional Council directed municipal staff to begin the planning process. The next step is to inform the public. No changes can be made until after Regional Council hosts a public hearing. The proposal will be reviewed as a change to the Municipal Plan.


Sandy Lake (6,000 units)



Request by Sandy Lake Holdings (Clayton Developments) for a new serviced mixed-use (residential/ commercial) community. Regional Plan policy envisions a comprehensive secondary planning process before these lands can be included within the Urban Service Area.


Status: Many more land and water studies must be conducted before this proposal is approved.


Other facts:


The province will also be giving 2.3 million to the HRM to help study the environmental impact, land-use suitability, transportation and infrastructure of these new neighbourhoods.


The pricing of these units will be decided by the developers, not the government.


The current housing deficit is estimated at 17,000 units. By the time these projects are completed, it is estimated that this deficit will be much higher.


The projects are estimated to commence anywhere from the first being in 2022, and the last being in 2024.


Clayton Developments has committed to providing at least 373 affordable units at the Mount Hope site. This could mean as low as $605-$1,234/month for a one-bedroom apartment, or $788-$15,11/month for a two-bedroom apartment.


What do you think about the new proposed developments? Let us know!


Jordan Gunn
Licensed Real Estate Assistant
Keller Williams Select Realty