New Rental Supplements Boost Affordable Housing in Nova Scotia

More low-income families and seniors will have access to affordable homes thanks to an $18 million investment by the provincial and federal governments over the next two years.

Funding for 440 new rent supplements is now available around the province and will help reduce the current waiting list for affordable housing by a further 10 per cent.

Together, Housing Nova Scotia and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are committing $18.08 million over two years under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement for the new rent supplements.

Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, and MP Darren Fisher, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, made the announcement today, April 18, in Dartmouth.

“We want to help more Nova Scotians with low-incomes find a safe, affordable place to call home, near the services and support they need,” said Ms. Bernard. “Working with the federal government as well as private, non-profit, and co-op housing providers, is the best way to do this.”

“The government remains committed to making affordable housing available in Nova Scotia and across the country,” said Mr. Fisher. “Through the rental supplements, we are providing more affordable housing to low-income families and seniors and building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future.”

”This is a significant contribution that will help meet the housing needs of low-income Nova Scotians, families and seniors,” said Jeremy Jackson, president of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia. “Our members want to do their part to get more people off the public housing waiting list and into safe and affordable homes.”

“The rent supplement program has allowed me to find an affordable home close to my family,” said Bedford resident Debbie Martin. “I applaud both the federal and provincial governments for their continued commitment to affordable housing.”

The funding is cost-shared between the federal and provincial governments.

The rent subsidies announced today will be distributed as follows:
— 2016-17, $7.5 million will be invested to create 212 new rent supplements, including at least 50 for the Halifax Regional Municipality, and $300,000 for 10 rent supplements for new affordable rental housing projects
— 2017-18, $9.88 million for 205 rent supplements for people with lower incomes, and $400,000 for 13 new rent supplements for new affordable rental housing projects.

The Rental Supplement Program enables low-income families, and seniors who qualify, to rent a private-sector dwelling or a housing unit owned by a co-operative or non-profit housing provider. The rent supplement makes up the difference between the rent agreed upon with the landlord and what the tenant can afford (up to 30 per cent of gross household income).

Housing authorities across the province will reach out to clients currently on the waiting list to offer available units in their areas.

Source: Release

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