More Nova Scotians will soon be able to find a good home at a price they can afford.
Housing Nova Scotia is investing $18 million to create up to 1,500 new affordable housing opportunities through rent supplements over the next three years. About 200 of the rent supplements will be available for use in Cape Breton. Ninety-two will be available this year, including 25 targeted to address homelessness.
“We want to support more people in Cape Breton who are looking for a safe and affordable place to call home, including families and seniors on the public housing waitlist, and young people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness,” said Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Energy and Mines, on behalf of Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. “Rent supplements bridge the gap between what people waiting for public housing can afford and the actual rental costs for units owned by private sector or not-for-profit landlords.”
Government also invested $100,000 under the Poverty Reduction Blueprint for a one-year pilot project to address youth homelessness in Sydney. The Cape Breton Community Housing Association used the funding to hire a youth housing support worker, and to offer trustee support. The worker was provided with 10 rent supplements targeted for youth.
Housing Nova Scotia also invested $114,000 over two years for the Cape Breton Community Housing Association to hire a housing support worker to focus on adults at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
“The Cape Breton Community Housing Association is very pleased and encouraged by the new resources announced by Housing Nova Scotia to assist individuals experiencing homelessness in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality,” said Fred Deveaux, executive director. “These new resources will help end homelessness for many individuals, and this represents a good step toward addressing the systemic issue of homelessness at the community level.”
Three-hundred of the rent supplements will be targeted for use by community agencies that support households who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness – with 25 made available in Cape Breton this year. Use of the remaining targeted rent supplements will be determined by Housing Nova Scotia and its community partners in subsequent years.
There are about 1,700 rent supplements in use today, and 11,560 public housing units that provide safe, affordable homes to Nova Scotians. Over the past three years, Housing Nova Scotia reduced the public housing waitlist by 25 per cent. The new rent supplements will help to further reduce the waitlist by 30 per cent over the next three years.
For more information on Housing Nova Scotia programs, go to http://housing.novascotia.ca .