1 Million Announced for Major Home Repairs

More than 30 low-income families in Nova Scotia will receive help with extensive repairs to their homes under the Home PreservationProgram of the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing ProgramAgreement. David Morse, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Community Services, andGeoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced on Feb.25 that a total of $1 million will be made available for the HomePreservation Program for the remainder of this fiscal year. Thefederal-provincial funding will help address health and safetyconcerns by ensuring that homes meet current standards and willextend the lives of these homes by at least 15 years. “This program will allow people to remain in their homes — manyof which have been in their families for generations,” said Mr.Morse. “It will also improve their quality of life by providingthem with a healthy, safe and comfortable living environment.” “The government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and HousingCorporation (CMHC), is committed to sustaining vital, healthycommunities by helping preserve the housing stock for low-incomeCanadians in need,” said Mr. Regan. “This investment in NovaScotia will advance our national housing strategy to providesafe, affordable housing, to protect the existing affordablehousing stock from demolition, and to create new affordablehousing units.” The Home Preservation Program is an important component of thefederal-provincial affordable housing agreement, since NovaScotia has some of the oldest homes and one of the highest ratesof home ownership in the country. Funding will be spread acrossthe province and made available each year under the agreement. Assistance will be provided to households based on level of needand household income. Levels of assistance are expected to rangebetween $20,000 and $35,000 per household, depending on actualrepair requirements and contributions from other sources. Initial funding will be provided to households with long-standingapplications that exceed the $16,000 maximum assistance levelunder the existing Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program.New applications will be accepted beginning April 1. This is the first funding announcement for the Home PreservationProgram — one of four programs under the Canada-Nova ScotiaAffordable Housing Program Agreement. To date, two other projectshave been announced under other agreement programs: a 15-unittownhouse complex in the Annapolis Valley under the New RentalProgram and six semi-detached homes in Halifax under the New HomeOwnership Program. A provincewide request for proposals for other affordable housingprojects is expected to be issued within the next couple ofweeks. It is expected up to 1,500 affordable housing units will becreated or renovated under the $37.3-million affordable housingagreement by 2007. The government of Canada, through CMHC, willcontribute $18.6 million. These funds will be matched by theprovince and other housing partners, as part of a larger strategyto provide a range of housing options for Nova Scotians. Further information on this program is available by contacting your local Housing Services Office: Halifax, 902-424-5110; Middleton, 902-825-3481 or 1-800-564-3483; New Glasgow, 902-755-5065 or 1-800-933-2101; Sydney, 902-563-2120 or 1-800-567-2135.