Some seniors whose children are long grown are being asked to leave a lifetime of memories behind in their homes in Nova Scotia’s public housing communities to make room for other families who need the extra space.

Elaine Williams, chair of the Mulgrave Park Tenants Association in Halifax’s north end, said efforts to make sure government-owned units are used to capacity are necessary, but wrenching.

“Some people you’ve never seen cry, some of our seniors cried over losing their home,” said Williams, who has lived in Mulgrave Park for 55 years. “It’s something that we didn’t expect that was going to happen.”

Nova Scotia Provincial Housing Agency has been asking singles, couples, and small families to leave larger homes and move to smaller units that fit their family size. Then families on the waitlist can move in.

Asking residents to move to smaller apartments is meant to combat what the provincial government calls “overhousing,” when one or more bedrooms aren’t being used.

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