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Readers might recall that in The Third’s fourth issue, we covered a story about the province issuing a “call to action” to all Nova Scotians who have an extra bedroom to “consider hosting a person or family in their home.” According to the minister responsible, “We all have a role to play as we work together to overcome the housing crisis.”

The provincial government has partnered with Happipad, a Canadian non-profit organization to help Nova Scotians find a place to live. Happipad does thorough background checks, matches renters with hosts, collects and distributes the rent, and provides dispute resolution support in case of host or renter concerns. The Residential Tenancies Act applies to all rentals.

According to the department, the rents through Happipad are typically at rates below those of other rentals. Happipad users also report meaningful social connections, with options to share meals and other household activities. The program focuses on short-term accommodation and was designed for students, healthcare workers, and tradespeople.

The Department of Housing told us that there is a one-time background screening fee of $20 which is fully reimbursed if you commit to rent through the program. Rentals in the program are fixed term and typically range from 1 to 12 months. There is a 1-month minimum, and contracts can be renewed to stay for multiple years.

The Third wanted to know what Thirders thought of this new approach to address the housing crisis. So, we asked. It seems that readers might need a little more convincing before responding to the government’s call. As the chart depicts, about half of those who responded think that it is too much to ask of homeowners, citing privacy as the main reason for not responding to the minister’s call.

About 20 percent offered that they would be apprehensive to allow strangers into their homes. About half of that, however, 10 percent, are open to the idea of renting out the available bedrooms in their homes.

If you are interested in the program, you can learn more about it and add your bedroom to the list at

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