Community Services Minister David Morse says the province will beable to better respond to the housing needs of Nova Scotiansfollowing recent discussions with federal and provincialcounterparts. “Each province has unique housing needs that require a variety oftools and solutions,” said Mr. Morse today, Dec. 7. “In NovaScotia, our challenge is two-fold. We need to increase the supplyof affordable housing in areas of significant demand, whilesustaining existing housing stock in the province.” Mr. Morse made his comments following last week’s federal-provincial-territorial meeting of ministers responsible forhousing in Gatineau, Que. During the meeting, ministers agreed toa common set of principles to guide the development of a long-term strategy for a variety of housing initiatives in Canada. Ministers agreed to move forward based on the principles ofcollaboration; flexibility; responsiveness; joint decisionmaking; and empowerment of Canadians regarding their housingsituation. Mr. Morse co-chaired the meeting with federal minister of Labourand Housing, Joe Fontana. It was acknowledged that any agreementmust respect the specific needs and priorities of each province. “More than 20,000 low-income households in Nova Scotia are helpedeach year through federal-provincial housing programs and wewould like to do more,” said Mr. Morse. “It is important that wecontinue to work together to provide better housing for low-income Nova Scotians.” Future talks on improving programs and developing a long-termapproach to housing will take place in the spring of 2005. Mr.Morse will continue to co-chair this meeting.