Jan. 19, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - Construction is underway in Saint John on a three-unit housing project giving modest-income occupants the opportunity to rent, then potentially to own their first new home.
Social Development Minister Mary Schryer, who is also minister responsible for housing, and Saint John MP Rodney Weston made the announcement today. The project is being funded under Phase III of the Canada-New Brunswick Affordable Housing Agreement, which will provide eligible families with rent-to-own opportunities.
"We are pleased to join our partners in this unique demonstration project," said Schryer. "This project model will make affordable home ownership and self-sufficiency a new possibility for modest-income families in Saint John, through a rent-to-own approach. The creation of more affordable housing is essential to our effort to provide low-income individuals the opportunity to be active members within their community."
The $423,900 project, located at 51-55 Metcalf St., is being developed by Rehabitat Inc. The ONE HOME (Old North End Home Ownership Made Easy) model project involves a rent-to-own approach during which candidate families will have access to skills and training needed for accepting long-term home ownership responsibilities.
The units are scheduled to open later this winter. The project will receive $90,000 under the Federal Affordable Housing Trust to offset construction costs as well as $39,366 in rent supplements from the Province of New Brunswick for the three units.
"The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in New Brunswick and across Canada for those who need it most," said Weston. "The creation of these units here in Saint John will provide modest-income families access to safe, affordable and quality housing, helping them build a stronger future."
Weston spoke on behalf of Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development Canada and minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The objective of the Canada-New Brunswick Affordable Housing Agreement is to create and sustain rental housing for low- to moderate-income New Brunswick households through new construction or rehabilitation.
Funding is available to private non-profit organizations, co-operatives, and community or private developers interested in developing projects for low- to moderate-income families, seniors, non-elderly singles, disabled persons and persons with special needs.
This project will be built to high energy-efficiency standards, and it will involve consultation with Efficiency NB. Builders of affordable housing projects for low-income individuals may receive an incentive of $2,000 per apartment unit if the building is heated by low greenhouse gas emission technologies as approved by Efficiency NB.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sonya Gilks, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-3730; Giselle Thibault, communications and marketing consultant, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., 902-426-8320.