June 24, 2010
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The provincial government is moving forward with plans to revitalize Crescent Valley.
Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock announced today that the department will call for a show of interest from the private sector and non-profit organizations to develop new housing units in Crescent Valley.
"I thank the residents of Crescent Valley and Greater Saint John who provided their input on the conceptual plan during information sessions we held in March," said Lamrock. "The high level of positive feedback we received has allowed us to move forward with this important step in the revitalization of this neighbourhood."
Lamrock was in Saint John as part of series of announcements outlining the province's plans to tackle housing and homelessness during the next five years.
Revitalizing older neighbourhoods is a part of the province's housing strategy, Hope is a Home, a five-year plan to reduce poverty by making housing more affordable. The strategy recognizes the need to develop mixed income neighbourhoods; repair and renovate older housing stock; and build new units to keep up with the demand.
The Crescent Valley re-development opportunity will serve a mixed-income community that offers market-based rents, designating a number of units to be subsidized by the Department of Social Development. This initial request will provide the following development opportunities:
In addition to the request for proposals, the department is working on a number of initiatives associated with revitalization:
"This project represents smart growth," said Saint John Mayor Ivan Court. "This area is in a prime location, close to the university, hospital, parks, schools and the city's core. The infrastructure is already in place. This mixed-income housing project will be a place where more families will want to live, work and play. On behalf of Saint John common council, I want to thank the Province of New Brunswick, which worked in partnership with the community of Crescent Valley to revitalize the area."
The 20-year redevelopment plan recommends a five-phase approach with emphasis on sustainable development; proper land use; environmental sensitivity; adequate infrastructure; and social and economic development.
The plan addresses social isolation by changing Crescent Valley to a mixed-income community that targets a diverse population from a dedicated social housing community. Green spaces and structured areas are included to encourage active living and to promote a sense of belonging and ownership for the residents.
"Through the development of the poverty reduction plan, we learned that affordable housing should provide shelter and opportunities for people to experience social and economic inclusion and advancement," said Lamrock. "I am proud to say that this plan addresses the issues that the residents of Crescent Valley have faced when trying to lift themselves out of poverty."
The conceptual plan, developed by Avide Developments Inc., was based on consultations with Crescent Valley residents as well as a number of individuals, agencies and public organizations whose clientele live in the neighbourhood.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chris Connor, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-3730; Nancy Moar, communications manager, City of Saint John, 506-648-3715.