Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Nova Scotia

January 23, 2015 09:30 ET

Federal and Provincial Governments Announce Investment for Co-operative Housing

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 23, 2015) - Housing co-ops will be able to move forward with renovations and upgrades thanks to help from the Social Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP). Additional funding to the SHARP program of $8 million over the next three years will go towards repairs including structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, and modifications for accessibility.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with the Honourable Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, made the announcement today at Highfield Park Housing Cooperative in Dartmouth.

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that Nova Scotians have better access to secure, stable housing along with more jobs and opportunity which leads to better overall economic outcomes," said Minister MacKay. "We will continue to work with our provincial colleagues to ensure that social housing in the region continues to be safe, accessible and affordable for years to come."

"Co-ops are an important piece of the affordable housing mix," said Minister Joanne Bernard. "Residents have access to stable, long-term housing, and they have a voice in how the co-operatives are governed."

"The SHARP program will allow co-ops to make necessary repairs while keeping their rent affordable," said Opal Brinston, a 23-year co-op member at Needham Housing Co-op in Halifax. "This announcement is welcome news for the housing co-op community."

Housing co-ops can apply for up to $24,000 per unit. Loans are forgiven over a maximum ten-year period. These investments are a result of $42 million in deferred federal contributions that the province committed to invest in affordable housing.

"This investment is an example of funding that works," said CHF Canada's Director, Sector Development Karla Skoutajan. "Previous SHARP funding has improved the physical condition of housing co-ops and the lives of hundreds of members of housing co-ops. Our members certainly value the province's partnership and investment in the long term viability of housing co-operatives in Nova Scotia."

The province is partnering with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, which will assist with the application process. For information on the province's housing strategy, visit http://housing.novascotia.ca.

The federal-provincial Social Housing Agreement, which dates from 1997, includes a carry-over provision, which allows provincial governments to re-invest accumulated funds into existing social housing. In November 2013, Minister Bernard announced that plans would be developed by Housing Nova Scotia to invest these accumulated funds on renovations and upgrades to Nova Scotia's social housing stock.

Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. These investments improve the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continued this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC help Canadians meet their housing needs, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.

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