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Province of Nova Scotia Issues Proposal Call for More Affordable Housing

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, August 07, 2009 — Trucks could be rolling into four Nova Scotia communities as early as this fall to break ground on affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Nova Scotia Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced today that almost 50 units of affordable rental housing will be built over the next year in Sydney, Port Hawkesbury, Middleton and Amherst.

The funding was made available as a result of a $128 million joint investment under the amended Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement which includes equal funding through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and by the Government of Nova Scotia and through an extension to the Canada – Nova Scotia Housing Renovation Program Agreement.

“Our Conservative Government is committed to making affordable housing available in Nova Scotia and today’s announcement is good news for our province,” said Minister MacKay. “This investment creates much needed jobs, strengthens the economy, and improves the quality of life for Nova Scotians.”

“Making life better for Nova Scotians by increasing access to safe, affordable housing is one of our government’s top priorities,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “This new housing will allow more seniors and people with disabilities to remain independent.”

Province-wide requests for proposals will be issued starting this week, inviting contractors to submit proposals for the construction of the new units for seniors and persons with disabilities. Tenders will continue to be issued over the next several months.

About 26 independent living seniors’ units will be built in Sydney; Port Hawkesbury will get a barrier-free duplex; 15 seniors’ units, three of which will be barrier free, will be built in Middleton; and Amherst will get a seniors fourplex.

The new units are part of the amended agreement announced in April 2009, which will deliver $128 million for the construction and renovation of affordable housing throughout the province over the next two years. These four communities are the first round of new housing to be built in year one. Year two will see the construction of more units around the province.

“Nova Scotians in all regions of the province will see new and improved affordable housing,” said Ms. Petersen-Rafuse. “The projects will also create construction jobs.”

Roughly $20 million will be spent on the creation, renovation and upgrade of more than 2,600 social housing units in Cape Breton. Northern Nova Scotia will see about $10 million used for the same purposes on about 1,300 social housing units. Central Nova Scotia will get approximately $50 million for the creation, renovation and upgrade of approximately 3,700 units and around $16 million will be invested in more than 1,800 social housing units in the Western region.

In total approximately 180 housing units for seniors and people with disabilities in Nova Scotia will be created and renovations and energy upgrades will be done to over 9,200 individual social housing units.

The remaining $32 million of the $128 million will go towards continued funding for existing provincial repair programs and affordable housing made possible through partnerships with private developers and non-profits.

More than 1,200 affordable housing units in Nova Scotia have already been created or preserved under the Canada – Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program.

Last fall, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing and lending of up to another $2 billion to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

Media Contact:

Kristen Tynes, Community Services

Giselle Thibault, CMHC

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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