ANTIGONISH: The federal government is helping a local community group build affordable housing units.
Last week, the federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s seed funding program, offered $81,095 in funding for the second phase of the Riverside Estates development.
Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), made the announcement along with Central Nova MP Sean Fraser.
“The Canadian government has to show leadership when it comes to assisting the housing needs of our families, in particular the housing needs of low income seniors,” Duclos said. “This is the perfect project which is going to help provide 10 units of affordable housing.”
A release from the government states the money will go towards architect fees, which will include six two-bedroom and four one-bedroom affordable housing units intended for families living on low income and persons with disabilities.
“I started where the project started, with the community organization on the ground,” said Fraser.
“I had the opportunity to meet with the board over the last couple of years to learn more about the project and the need that exists within my own community. When I had the opportunity to raise this with some of my colleagues in Ottawa, they were all too receptive.”
The release also stated the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society completed the construction of the first phase of its affordable housing development, Riverside Estate, in April.
Last year, all three levels of local government, as well as Antigonish community groups, got together on July 29 to announce Riverside Estates, an affordable housing development with two two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. The Town of Antigonish donated the land and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish pledged $100,000 over the next five years in support of the development. The Sisters of St. Martha also committed an investment of $100,000.
Colleen Cameron, chair of the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, said the society is looking at looking at either a fall or spring deadline for the project but the group needs to still raise some funds.
“We’re getting moving on that shortly,” she said, noting the society has to raise in the range of $200,000.
“This is the seed funding so it’s going to help us with our architect fees and we’re going to do some research on affordable housing in Antigonish so it will help us gather that data, which will show there really is a need.”
Cameron noted the society has to raise a certain percentage of funding to be able to access provincial funding as well.
“They’ve been very encouraging, saying ‘get your proposal in as soon as possible,’” she added of the province.