CHESTER, Nova Scotia, October 27, 2006 — More than 35 seniors have moved in to new and affordable homes in the Shoreham Village seniors’ complex in Chester thanks to funding from the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement.
Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margaret’s, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Judy Streatch, Minister of Community Services, opened the new affordable rental housing today. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of two new street names, Saunders Court and Youden Lane, to recognize Joe Saunders and Bob Youden for their leadership and efforts to expand this seniors’ community.
“Seniors in Chester now have access to more safe, quality, affordable housing that meets their specific needs,” said Mr. Keddy. “Canada’s New Government is proud of the work we have done with our partners to help seniors live with independence and dignity in their community, close to their families and friends.”
Through the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal government provided $400,000 in capital, and the province committed $96,000 in rent supplement funding.
“We’re very pleased to create more affordable homes in Chester so seniors can remain in the community and live near their loved ones," said Ms. Streatch, Minister of Community Services. "Our investment in Shoreham Village supports our efforts to create affordable homes in the province. Shoreham provides good quality, affordable homes that allow residents to live in a secure and quiet community setting.”
The new affordable housing in the Shoreham Village senior’s complex features 24 apartments in two buildings. Each building has 12 two-bedroom apartments and a total of 16 affordable housing units. The buildings have elevators, a laundry room, and a lounge area.
Shoreham Village is a seniors’ community located on fourteen acres of land with grounds similar to a campus setting. It consists of several living options including a Home for the Aged, independent living seniors’ apartment, and assisted living suites and apartments.
"Shoreham Village Senior Citizens' Association is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older persons. Given that our aging population is increasing at a rapid rate, we see the establishment of this new housing project as a significant contribution to the quality of life for older persons in Chester Municipality and beyond," said Robert St. Laurent, vice-chair of the board of directors, chair of the building committee. "We are proud to be a partner with both the federal and provincial governments in making this important initiative a reality for our community."
As of March 31, 2006, $37.3 million has been committed by the federal government, the provincial government and its partners, for the construction or renovation of more than 900 affordable housing units in the province. A total of $56.2 million will be available under the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement by 2009.
Information on the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement is available at local housing services offices or on the Department of Community Services website at www.gov.ns.ca/coms.
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The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia signed an Affordable Housing Program Agreement on September 13, 2002 — the first phase provided federal funding of $18.63 million together with matching contributions of $18.63 million from the Province of Nova Scotia.
The 2001 Speech from the Throne indicated the Government of Canada would help stimulate the creation of more affordable rental housing. The federal/provincial/territorial housing ministers met twice to finalize details of an affordable housing initiative that would address the needs and priorities of individual jurisdictions while meeting the goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing. The final framework was developed and agreed to on November 30, 2001 and includes the following:
The new agreement was signed March 3, 2005 and will see each level of government contribute $9.46 million for the creation or renovation of affordable housing in Nova Scotia. The second phase reflects the framework determined in phase one of the Affordable Housing Program Agreement, with the exception that the maximum subsidy is greater, and that potential households, clients, must be eligible to be on the social housing waiting list.
The $28.09 million federal contribution builds on current Government of Canada expenditures on housing in the province of Nova Scotia. The Government of Canada annually supports housing with approximately $75.5 million in grants, contributions and subsidies which primarily serve some 22,850 lower-income families, seniors, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and victims of domestic violence.
This includes funds for existing social housing and approximately $7 million for the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI), Emergency Repair Program (ERP) and the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).
The provincial government offers a number of programs to help lower-income households maintain, acquire, or rent safe, adequate, and affordable housing. Through housing authorities, we own and operate over 12,000 rental housing units for families and seniors. Rent is based on household income. We also provide grants and loans for home repair and additions, as well as mortgage funds to purchase or build modest houses.