For tri-county residents who have yet to fill out a housing survey, it’s not too late to do so, the deadline having been pushed back to Dec. 4.
A spokesperson for the project acknowledges that the participation rate, at least at first, wasn’t as high as hoped, but it has since picked up.
“It wasn’t doing so well initially,” said Denise Vacon, health promoter with Public Health Services. “We were getting some responses but not hitting our targets.”
In a Nov. 21 interview, she said, “It’s starting to come up, which is encouraging, but we’re still short in predominantly our smaller, rural communities.”
An initiative involving housing coalitions and other groups in partnership with Public Health, the survey is looking at the housing situation in Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis and Kings counties, as well as West Hants.
The survey can be done online – at www.daashgroup.com -- or by using paper copies, which are available at various locations, including the Tri-County Women’s Centre and municipal government offices.
The more responses they get, Vacon said, the clearer the picture will be of housing in the region.
“The housing survey, I think it’s important to remember, is for everybody,” she said. “We want to hear from the more vulnerable populations as well, but it is intended to be a population-wide survey.”
Part of the idea behind the survey is that it could help municipal units plan for the future and also help service providers see where to focus their efforts.
“What supports might help people stay in their house is also important,” Vacon said. “And then, of course, what folks are struggling with is important to document as well, so that we can look at what services might be able to help in those cases.”
The survey could provide important information for builders and developers too, she said.
The Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre in Wolfville has been contracted for survey digitization, data collection and analysis.