Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Nova Scotia

November 15, 2013 10:15 ET

Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia Celebrate New Affordable Housing in Amherst

AMHERST, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 15, 2013) - Nova Scotians living in the Amherst area will benefit from forty-three new affordable housing units which were officially opened today.

Scott Armstrong, 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.

"Our Government is helping to make affordable housing available in Nova Scotia and across Canada for those who need it the most," said MP Armstrong. "These new units in Amherst will help Nova Scotians access safe and affordable housing. We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care about most: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."

"Housing developments such as these are not just an investment in the bricks and mortar of a building," said Joanne Bernard, Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services and Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. "They are first and foremost an investment in building stronger communities and stronger families in Nova Scotia. As we move forward with a new direction for housing in Nova Scotia, I look forward to working with communities, our federal colleagues, partners and stakeholders to ensure that every Nova Scotian has a safe and affordable place to call home."

The development revitalized two previously vacant and boarded-up buildings in downtown Amherst. The first building, located at 24 Crescent Avenue, was converted from a former office building and provides 13 units of affordable housing. The second building, located at 26 Crescent Avenue was the former St. Charles School and provides 30 units of affordable housing. The housing development received $810,000 in federal funding, while over the next 10 years, Housing Nova Scotia will make rents affordable through rent supplements of approximately $625,000.

"It was a very large and sometimes difficult project but a much needed addition to the community," said James Barkley, developer. "It is very satisfying to see forgotten buildings gain new life and take on meaning not only for the people living in them but the community in general. This project would not have been possible without the cooperation and effort by many parties involved, from our finance and construction people, professional trades, and to our government programs and people that administer them. Not only do we fill the need for safe affordable housing but also from an economic stand point the ongoing benefit to local business and the energy that is brought into the downtown core will be noticed for many years to come. People need a good safe place to live and converting and repurposing buildings instead of tearing them down serves as a double plus for any community."

Funding for this project comes as a result of the $61 million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia.

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Nova Scotia, this represents an estimated 19,850 households. These investments are improving 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. 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.

The Government of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Community Services and Housing Nova Scotia, helps Nova Scotians secure affordable housing that meets their needs. For more information on Housing Nova Scotia visit www.housingns.ca. For more information on the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services visit www.novascotia.ca/coms.

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