Families in a Yarmouth neighbourhood are getting help to fix the exterior of their homes and revitalize their community.
Housing Nova Scotia Minister Joanne Bernard was in Yarmouth today, Aug. 11, to announce more than 180 homes in the south end of town are eligible for grants to improve curbside appeal.
The program is part of Housing Nova Scotia’s Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative.
“People need to feel good about their surroundings. It is key to building vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods and it’s more than bricks and mortar,” said Ms. Bernard. “We are committed to working with our partners to create innovative solutions, and this is a great example of building healthy, vibrant communities.”
The improvements will complement work by the Town of Yarmouth.
Homes within the designated area — Williams and Forbes streets to the east, Kempt Street and Marshall Lane to the south, Water Street to the west, and Haskell and Albert streets to the north — may be eligible for grants of up to $3,000 for projects such as landscaping, exterior painting and some repairs. Landlords may qualify for $2,000 grants per unit, which they have to match.
The municipality has helped bring vibrancy to the neighbourhood with improvements such as new decorative lighting on South Main Street, underground services and paving.
It also plans to:
— add box culverts on Argyle Street at Broad Brook to handle increased runoff from storms
— introduce an updated sign bylaw to help create a more historical downtown feeling to the commercial area
— approve a new public parking lot in the south end, across from the Red and White store
“The Town of Yarmouth is thrilled to welcome and support this program,” said Mayor Pam Mood. “The process of revitalization goes so much deeper than beautification, it brings communities together, instills a sense of pride and generally enhances the quality of life for residents. We’re excited to see the outcomes on every level.”
Partnerships with private developers help draw on the strength of the community. Andrew Cameron and his father Gordon have built two developments with Housing Nova Scotia, creating eight units.
“It’s important that everyone has access to a home — a place they are safe in, they feel proud of and they can afford,” said Mr Cameron. “The south end is a historically significant part of the town and I believe this partnership will be the turning point that will help reinvigorate this neighourhood.”
Denise Vacon is a public health promoter with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and a member of CHOICE, a group of community members committed to improving safe, accessible and affordable housing options in Yarmouth County.
“We are very excited to hear that the Town of Yarmouth will be benefiting from the Neighbourhood Improvement Initiative. Improving physical infrastructure is a key factor to quality of life, health and social well-being,” Ms. Vacon said. “This initiative will enhance an already strong sense of community pride, create momentum and engage residents to be part of a project that will have many positive impacts.”
Housing Nova Scotia staff will deliver applications over the next few weeks to homes in the area. They are also available online at www.housingns.ca .