Province offering p to $40k in forgivable loans to create affordable suites on your property

Nova Scotians can now access more money to build a secondary or backyard suite and a wider range of family members are now eligible to live in them.

The Province is offering forgivable loans of up to $40,000 – up from $25,000 – to people who want to create affordable secondary or backyard suites on their property.

“In our current housing market, every affordable home we can create is needed. When we created this program, we promised to do a review to ensure it was achieving the best outcomes for Nova Scotians, and we’re pleased to provide even more access to funding as a result,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr. “These changes will help more people build affordable homes for people who need them – whether that’s a family member with a disability who needs an accessible unit, a senior family member or a post-secondary student.”

The Province has expanded the list of those eligible to live in and build these units. Family members living with disabilities, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are now eligible to live in or build suites. Previously, only parents and step-parents at least 65 years old and adult children and stepchildren of senior homeowners were eligible to live in the units, as well as anyone who was below the household income limits for the area.

This affordability stream of the program continues. Homeowners can charge a maximum of 80 per cent of average market rent and rent to anyone – family member or not – who is below the household income limit.

The changes to the program take effect immediately. Anyone who has already been approved can take advantage of the expanded loan amount and criteria.

“These changes will make a huge difference. Accessible units are hard to find, so this means people won’t have to leave their communities of choice to find accessible housing. Units can be built to accommodate the unique needs of each person. People will be able to live more independently, but with support from family members close by if they need it.” 
— Lora Church, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Residential Agencies Association

Quick Facts:
– secondary and backyard suites are self-contained dwelling units located inside an existing home or on the same property and registered under the same title
– the forgivable loan will be worth up to 50 per cent of eligible costs or $40,000, whichever is less
– people can use the forgivable loan for costs such as construction materials, labour, permits or to buy a prefabricated backyard suite
– to date, the Province has received more than 500 inquiries about the program, received 48 applications and approved 25 forgivable loans

Via Province

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