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Provincial Announcement – Housing and Homelessness Solutions – Oct 11th 2023

The Province of Nova Scotia will be announcing a bundle of solutions in response to the housing and homelessness crisis. One solution will be a  $7.5 million investment to purchase 200 Pallet Company Shelter Units. The units will be implemented in select municipalities across the province with the intent to increase and enhance local community shelter services by providing temporary and dignified private shelter units. The Town of Kentville was identified as a strong candidate to partner on the provincially led project. 

Inspired by the Leadership from local not-for-profits, the Town of Kentville has been identified as a leader in the community in response to homelessness and at a high state of readiness to receive units. Kentville will receive a portion of the 200 units for the project rollout. Once the units are implemented, the operations will be led by a local not-for-profit. Supporting the Provincial Government’s investment in the Pallet Villages Project is one avenue to use a dignified approach to the housing and homelessness crisis. This is an exceptional partnership opportunity for Kentville to showcase our compassion for all community members. 

As a provincially led project, the Town of Kentville is utilizing this opportunity to respond to the increasing community statistics regarding housing insecurity and to support the resiliency of local not-for-profits by implementing community solutions based on dignity and connection. Staff are working closely with the province to determine next steps. Staff will continue to communicate updates to both staff and council, as well as prepare communication for community members.   

This project is an innovative and unique initiative in Canada. Nova Scotia (Mi’kma’ki) is taking on a leadership opportunity to represent what is possible when the provincial government, in partnership with municipalities, takes on a Housing-First approach to address the housing and homelessness crisis. The BC Housing Association also intends to implement this model across their province.  

This is one aspect of a large announcement listing multiple solutions.

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Pallet the Company and What they Do: 

Pallet is a Public Benefit Corporation that aims to provide dignified shelter and housing solutions for communities across North America. 80% of the company's staff have lived experience with homelessness, and offers a living wage with benefits. All of the company's units are designed with the guidance of individuals with lived experience.  

To learn more about Pallet Villages, Check out this video – The Pallet Village Model.  You may also want to visit the related documents section of this page to learn more. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are Pallet Units?  

The Pallet S2 Unit is a dignified and rapid-response response shelter-solution. It is an industry-leading design with a mono-pitch roof, smooth exterior and interior panels, improved energy efficiency and protection from weather elements. 

Units are 70 sq. ft. (6.5 m2) and designed for 1-person occupancy  

The S2 units are designed specifically for colder climates – particularly in Canada 

  • Climate control  
  • Lockable Door 
  • Openable, lockable and screen windows for ventilation  
  • Electrical connection  
  • Mold, mildew, rot, bedbug and pet resistant  
  • Smoke detector  
  • Emergency egress door 
  • Wall-mounted fire extinguisher 
  • Class C interior surface fire rating 


  • Solid-Core, locking door with peephole and kick plate
  • Heating and AC for all climates
  • Advanced Low-E energy efficient windows
  • Integrated customizable shelving system
  • Three 120V convenience plugs
  • Interior LED Lighting
  • Smoke and Carbon monoxide detector
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Pedestal leveling system
  • Patent pending tray foundation system
  • Patent pending structural hold down system
  • Insulated FRP walls
  • All materials of construction are non-organic, reducing mold, mildew, and pests
  • Freestanding standard twin bed
  • Freestanding desk
  • Mattresses fitted with bedbug resistant covers


  • Water diversion with integrated awning
  • Digital door lock

Where will the units go?  

Staff are working with the province to identify the best location option in Kentville for implementation. Updates will be provided once we know more.  

Who is paying for this project?  

This is a provincially led project; the Town of Kentville was identified as a vital site location with the community support services in place to support the units. The province has committed a $7.5 million investment toward the project. Staff feel confident in the province's commitment and are working with the province to finalize costing details.  

Are existing Pallet Villages associated with higher crime rates? 

No, Pallet communities have consistently proven that once implemented, crime and calls to local detachments decrease; the model has seen consistent success as it is grounded in connection, dignity and intention development to better connect individuals experiencing homelessness by using a Housing First Approach to address the housing and homelessness crisis in communities. A video to find out more – City of Chula Vista 

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  1. Everett WA: 66% reduction in necessary street clean-up resources, 11% drop in police calls
  2. Vancouver, WA - Outpost Community: 30% decrease in crime, 13% drop of fire/EMS related calls
  3. Vancouver, WA - Hope Village: 26% decrease in crime
  4. Denver CO: 19.2% decrease in crime

Who is responsible for the Pallet community operations? And the support of the equity-seeking individuals that will reside in them? 

A local not-for-profit will handle the daily operations. Details are still being flushed out between the organization and the Department of Community Services, which will provide extra staff support for the pallet community.   

Who will select the Residents of the Pallet Community? 

Similar to existing emergency shelter models, the not-for-profit taking on daily operations will collaboratively coordinate access to the shelters and coordinate the transition from the shelter community into other community-supportive living or housing options once they become available.  

How is the Kentville Police Service involved in the project?  

KPS is a partner on the project and has been involved since the beginning regarding the discussion on this opportunity. KPS set to have a conversation with another detachment that has a pallet community in their jurisdiction to gain lessons learnt when the new project is brought into the community and how it impacts policing. KPS is committed to working in the best interest of all Kentville community members, including the individuals who will reside in the Pallet Village.