Nova Scotians living in the Amherst area will benefit from 43 affordable housing units that were officially opened today, Nov. 15.
Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard and MP Scott Armstrong, on behalf of Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) officially opened the buildings.
“Housing developments such as these are not just an investment in the bricks and mortar of a building,” said Ms. Bernard. “They are, first and foremost, an investment in building stronger communities and stronger families in Nova Scotia. As we move forward with a new direction for Housing in Nova Scotia, I look forward to working with communities, our federal colleagues, partners and stakeholders to ensure that every Nova Scotian has a safe and affordable place to call home.”
Project funding comes from the $61-million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement which is cost-shared between the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia. The province is investing $625,000 in rent supplements over the next 10 years while the federal government contributed $810,000.
“Our government is helping to make affordable housing available in Nova Scotia and across Canada for those who need it the most,” said Mr. Armstrong. “These new units in Amherst will help Nova Scotians access safe and affordable housing. We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the prime minister, that Canadians care about most: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security.”
“Nova Scotians deserve affordable housing options that provide a strong foundation for their families to grow,” said Kevin Malloy, CEO for Housing Nova Scotia. “Housing Nova Scotia has a mandate to ensure that all Nova Scotians and their families can find housing right for them that they can afford, in a healthy community that offers the services, supports and opportunities they need.”
The development revitalized two vacant, boarded-up buildings in downtown Amherst. The first building, 24 Crescent Ave., was converted from a former office building and provides 13 units of affordable housing. The second building, 26 Crescent Ave., was the former St. Charles School and provides 30 units of affordable housing.
“It was a very large and sometimes difficult project, but a much needed addition to the community,” said developer James Barkley. “It is very satisfying to see forgotten buildings gain new life and take on meaning not only for the people living in them but the community in general. This project would not have been possible without the co-operation and effort by many parties involved, from our finance and construction people, professional trades, and to our government programs and people that administer them.”
Community Services and Housing Nova Scotia help Nova Scotians secure affordable housing that meets their needs. For more information on Housing Nova Scotia visit www.housingns.ca.
The government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest about $2 billion in housing this year, $1.7 billion of which to support close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Nova Scotia, this represents an estimated 19,850 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
For more information, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.