Nova Scotia and the federal government said Friday they will spend $16.6 million to build affordable housing units throughout the province.
The announcement was made at a seniors' complex operated by Future Growth Co-op in Sydney Mines.
Clarence Dawe, co-op president, said demand is high for their units because few rentals are available for less than $1,000 per month.
"We have people on fixed incomes that do not have no fat bank accounts," said Dawe. "We've got a file this thick of people that are looking to downsize."
Future Growth Co-op was given $3.9 million to construct a second building to house seniors. Work is already underway on the 22-unit complex. The facility's one-bedroom units will be rented for $750 a month.
Dawe said similar apartments are being rented in the community for roughly double that amount.
"People are coming in every day looking for an application and we never even advertised that we're going to have units available for rental," he said.
"And if one of you spoke to the residents here, they're happy, content. And it's affordable."
Nine other affordable housing projects were also announced. They're being built in communities stretching from Guysborough to Amherst.
Government officials say they'll be able to build 236 new units in total. They say more than half of the units will be offered at rents at or below 80 per cent of the local market average.
The federal and provincial governments will fund:
Cape Breton East MLA Brian Comer said solving the housing crisis needs "bold and aggressive" action and collaboration among all levels of government, developers and community stakeholders.
"We all feel the urgency and we're all committed to solutions," Comer said.
Jaime Battiste, MP for Sydney-Victoria said the project will benefit people with low incomes and will provide an economic boost to communities by providing construction work.
"The government steps in a lot of times when we're talking about seniors and we're talking about marginalized communities," Battiste said. "This is an important area that we know that there's a gap and that's why we're filling that gap."2023-03-17T21:08:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd