Women and children fleeing domestic violence in Cumberland County will soon have access to a safe place to call home, with the help of federal and provincial government funding for new affordable second-stage housing units.
MLA Terry Farrell, on behalf of Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and MP Bill Casey, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, made the announcement today, April 21, in Amherst.
The construction will be managed by Autumn House, an organization that provides shelter, counselling and support services.
The new units will allow tenants to stay for a period of one year and will offer programs and services to help them transition to independent living.
“Helping women and children who are leaving domestic violence is a priority for the government,” said Mr. Farrell. “Building new second-stage housing units in the Amherst area will help women and children get the support they need, and help them move forward during difficult times.”
“The peace of mind that comes with having a secure and stable home is invaluable,” said Mr. Casey. “These units are another example of our government’s commitment toward ensuring that survivors of domestic violence are able to enjoy a safe and stable environment.”
The provincial and federal governments have committed up to $292,100 to build a new duplex. The project fills a need for second-stage housing in the area.
“Autumn House has been providing safety and services for victims of intimate partner violence in Cumberland County for the past 26 years,” said Ruth Currie, acting executive director of Autumn House. “We welcome the addition of second-stage housing as a very necessary extension of our services. The maximum stay at our transition house is 6 weeks, and we know that this is often not enough time for women to secure safe affordable housing in Cumberland County. The two new second-stage housing units will offer extended safe, secure and affordable housing. This brings us a step closer in reaching our goal to provide safety for women and children in our community.”
In August 2016 both governments announced investments in affordable housing, which included support for victims of domestic violence. Housing Nova Scotia is investing $5.2 million in federal funding to support the construction and renovation of shelters for victims of domestic violence and transition houses. The funding for today’s announcement comes from this broader investment.
Second-stage housing is longer-term, individual housing, where tenants can live for an extended time.