Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
A municipality with endless potential. Planner experienced long-term housing shortage, commits to helping create options
Story by Tina Hennigar
The planner for the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Byung Jun Kang, knows all too well about the housing shortage in Lunenburg County.
“The only reason why I got a place was because my co-worker was moving and I moved into the spot they were leaving,” he shared. “I experienced the shortage of long-term rentals first-hand.” Byung Jun wants to help create options so that people no longer experience housing insecurity.
Byung Jun Kang immigrated from South Korea at 16 years old and lived in rural New Brunswick for 10 years. “When I first moved to Canada there was a real culture shock. I come from a city of 10-million people. I made friends and they introduced me to all the hidden gems. That is why I’m still here,” he said of living in Atlantic Canada. Byung Jun believes that it’s that type of welcome, the sharing of the secrets of the community that help make a place feel like home to newcomers.
Byung Jun moved to Lunenburg County after first experiencing the area as a co-op student. We left an impression. “Everyone was being so nice to me,” he said. “They invited me into their homes and said, ‘make yourself comfortable,’” He laughed.
“And I really like what I do so that helps too,” he said of being a municipal planner.
“I see great potential, a good natural environment, good professional people. I love this community.” Byung Jun said that his colleagues are more like a family. “I worked in Halifax, and the environment was different. We did [our] own thing. Here, people get together more.”
Despite the housing challenges that face most of Nova Scotia, Byung Jun is hopeful for what he sees here - a municipality with endless potential. He says creative thinking and smart planning are key to addressing the housing barrier. “Let’s look at what we have for existing housing stock. What are the projections for population growth? Lack of choice can hinder young professionals and the senior population who want to downsize. We need to make sure there are places to downsize to.” Byung Jun said housing is on the minds of everyone in the planning department so that people can come and so that people can stay here, including himself.