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More Affordable Housing Announced for Cape Breton Residents

NORTH SYDNEY, Nova Scotia, October 05, 2007 — Cape Breton residents will soon have access to more affordable housing in Sydney, North Sydney and Sydney Mines. Through the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement, 130 units of affordable housing for families, singles, seniors and people with disabilities are being built or renovated.

Judy Streatch, Minister of Community Services and Gerald Keddy, MP for South Shore – St. Margaret’s, on behalf of Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, announced today, Oct. 5, two new housing projects and confirmed construction has started on a third previously announced project.

We are committed to investing in affordable housing in Cape Breton,” said Ms Streatch. “With the help of our federal partners and business partners, we are creating and preserving affordable housing across the island.”

“Canada’s New Government is committed to making affordable housing available in Nova Scotia and across Canada for those who need it most,” said Mr. Keddy. “The creation of these new units in the Sydney area, will allow families, seniors and low income individuals to live in safe, quality housing at an affordable cost and start a new page in their lives.”

Through the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal government has contributed over $1.8 million in capital funding for the three projects and the Department of Community Services is providing $285,000 in funding to subsidize rents for some of the units.

Northside Property Holdings is converting a former commercial building at 177 Queen Street in North Sydney into six family apartments, including one wheelchair accessible unit. The total project cost is estimated at $282,000. The project received $108,000 from the government of Canada under the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement.

In Sydney, Donovan Rentals renovated 104 affordable family rowhouses at MacAulay’s Lane, Rockcliff Crescent and Sidella Drive in Sydney. The $1.3 million project received $1.2 million in federal funding under the agreement.

The third project by New Deal Developments is a 20-unit affordable housing project for singles and seniors on Pitt Street in Sydney Mines. The $1.3 million project is under construction has recieved $500,000 in federal funding and $285,000 in funding for rent subsidies from the province of Nova Scotia.

By March 2009, the federal government, the province and its partners will commit $56.2 million through the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement for the construction or renovation of affordable housing in the province.

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.

Media Contacts:

Kristen Tynes
Community Services
902-424-4038
tyneskja@gov.ns.ca

Emely Poitras-Benedict
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-8127
epoitras@cmhc.ca

See Related Speech

Backgrounder

Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement

First Phase

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:

  • Provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for housing program design and delivery;
  • Provinces and territories require flexible programs to address their housing needs;
  • The initiative needs to create affordable housing for low- to moderate-income households;
  • Units funded will remain affordable for a minimum of 10 years;
  • Maximum subsidy is $25,000 per unit, and;
  • Provinces and territories will be required to match federal contributions overall.


Second Phase:

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 or clients, must be eligible to be on the social housing waiting list.

Other Government of Canada Housing Support in Nova Scotia

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 $80.9 million in grants, contributions and subsidies which primarily serve some 22,350 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).

Other Government of Nova Scotia Housing Support Programs

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.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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