HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - March 24, 2014) - Nova Scotians living in social housing developments throughout the province will benefit from improvements to their homes as a result of a nearly $4-million investment in property repairs and upgrades.
Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, 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 Cornwallis Morreau Lodge, a 41-unit seniors' residence in Halifax.
"Our Government remains committed to smart investments in housing to create better economic outcomes for the Canadian families who benefit from these programs," said PS Armstrong. "These renovations are a positive example of how savings from the Canada-Nova Scotia Social Housing Agreement can be reinvested to ensure that housing developments continue to be viable and affordable for years to come."
Work will begin this spring in communities throughout the province.
"Housing is not just an investment in the bricks and mortar of a building; it is an investment in our
people," said Minister Bernard. "Our government is committed to improving life for Nova Scotia's most vulnerable citizens. This specific initiative will help us ensure that residents of social housing continue to have safe, affordable and comfortable homes - something that every Nova Scotian deserves to have."
There are three categories of repairs and upgrades all intended to ensure that social housing properties continue to provide safe, healthy and comfortable homes for low-income Nova Scotians:
- Building upgrades: approximately $2.5 million will be invested to repair and replace deteriorated structural elements such as roofs, windows, doors and siding to maintain the life expectancy of buildings; investments in upgrading heating systems that have reached the end of their useful life; and flooring upgrades in public areas of seniors' buildings.
- Health and safety: approximately $1-million will be invested on various health and safety improvements including sprinkler replacements and upgrades to ensure buildings continue to meet fire regulations; and fire alarm upgrades specifically designed to warn seniors about fires.
- Accessibility: approximately $500,000 will be invested to upgrade and replace deteriorated ramps, walkways and parking areas at various seniors' complexes.
Cornwallis Morreau Lodge, where today's event took place, will benefit from an upgrade to its exterior siding.
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 its $61.8-million carry-over on renovations and upgrades to Nova Scotia's social housing stock. Today's announcement is Phase 1 of this planned spending.
Housing Nova Scotia and the province's five regional housing authorities identified the projects for Phase 1 of this spending based upon priority need.
"We are committed to improving the quality of life of our residents and this is an important step towards our goal," said Kevin Malloy, CEO of Housing Nova Scotia. "These funds will not only ensure that our tenants live in a healthy and safe environment, but that our existing properties receive the proper upgrades so they can last for years to come."
Housing Nova Scotia helps Nova Scotians secure affordable housing that meets their needs. For more information on Housing Nova Scotia visit www.housingns.ca.
The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), invests approximately $2 billion in housing annually. Included in this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 600,000 households living in existing social housing both on and off reserve. In Nova Scotia, this represents an estimated 19,850 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing. To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.