Nova Scotians living in social housing will get repairs and upgrades to their homes though a $4-million investment by the provincial and federal governments.
Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard and MP Scott Armstrong, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, on behalf of Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), made the announcement today, March 24, at Cornwallis Morreau Lodge, a 41-unit seniors’ residence in Halifax, which will get new siding though the plan.
“Housing is not just an investment in the bricks and mortar of a building, first and foremost, it is an investment in our people,” said Ms. Bernard. “Government is committed to improving life for Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable citizens. This specific initiative will help us ensure that residents of social housing continue to have safe, affordable and comfortable homes — something every Nova Scotian deserves.”
Funding is through the Canada-Nova Scotia Social Housing Agreement and work will begin soon across the province.
“Our government remains committed to smart investments in housing to create better economic outcomes for the Canadian families who benefit from these programs,” said Mr. Armstrong. “These renovations are a positive example of how savings from the Canada-Nova Scotia Social Housing Agreement can be reinvested to ensure that housing developments continue to be viable and affordable for years to come.”
The three categories of repairs and upgrades are:
— Building upgrades: about $2.5 million will be used to repair and replace deteriorated roofs, windows, doors, siding upgrade older heating systems, and improve public-area flooring seniors’ buildings.
— Health and safety: about $1 million will be spend on improvements such as replacing sprinklers, ensure buildings continue to meet fire regulations and upgrade fire alarms designed to warn seniors about fires.
— Accessibility: about $500,000 will be used to upgrade public corridors, exterior walkways and parking areas.
The federal-provincial social housing agreement, which began in 1997, allows provincial governments to re-invest accumulated funds into existing social housing. In November, Ms. Bernard announced Housing Nova Scotia would invest its $61.8-million carry-over on renovations and upgrades. This is phase 1 of the investment
Housing Nova Scotia and the province’s five regional housing authorities identified the phase 1 projects based on need. To see a breakdown of spending by region go to http://novascotia.ca/coms/investment-in-social-housing .
“We are committed to improving the quality of life of our residents and this is an important step towards our goal,” said Kevin Malloy, CEO of Housing Nova Scotia. “These funds will not only ensure that our tenants live in a healthy and safe environment, but that our existing properties receive the proper upgrades so they can last for years to come.”
Housing Nova Scotia helps Nova Scotians secure affordable housing that meets their needs. For more information, visit www.housingns.ca .
The government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), invests about $2 billion in housing annually. Included in this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 600,000 households living in existing social housing on and off reserve. In Nova Scotia, this is about 19,850 households. Other funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing. To find out more call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca .