More Nova Scotians will soon be able to find a good home at a price they can afford.
Housing Nova Scotia is investing $18 million to create up to 1,500 new affordable housing opportunities through rent supplements over the next three years. More than a third of the rent supplements will be available for use in the Halifax region, with about 160 available this year.
“Building safe and connected communities means working with our partners to help low-income individuals, families and seniors find affordable housing that meets their needs,” said Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. “Rent supplements bridge the gap between what people waiting for public housing can afford and the actual rental costs for units owned by private sector or not-for-profit landlords.”
Three-hundred of the rent supplements will be targeted for use by community agencies that support households who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness throughout the province – with 60 of them made available this year. Use of the remaining targeted rent supplements will be determined by Housing Nova Scotia and its community partners in subsequent years.
“The addition of these 300 rent supplements will be a welcomed contribution to our collective efforts to end homelessness,” said Claudia Jahn, program director, Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia. “Affordability is paramount to housing security, which in turn is fundamental to an individual’s or family’s ability to successfully address the challenges they may face. Having the choice to find housing that is near family, formal or informal supports, or whatever it may be, gives participants the opportunity to be proud of the place they live in.”
There are about 1,700 rent supplements in use today, and 11,560 public housing units that provide safe, affordable homes to Nova Scotians. Over the past three years, Housing Nova Scotia reduced the public housing waitlist by 25 per cent. The new rent supplements will help to further reduce the waitlist by 30 per cent over the next three years.
“On behalf of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia, we are very pleased with this announcement,” said Jeremy Jackson, president of the association. “Although there is no one magic wand to help solve homelessness and affordable housing issues, rent supplement programs are an excellent method, using a public-private partnership model, to help that cause.”
For more information on Housing Nova Scotia programs, go to http://housing.novascotia.ca .