24 more affordable housing units in works for P.E.I.

·2 min read
The four Habitat for Humanity homes in Summerside will be rented to 'deserving Island families,' the organization says.  (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)
The four Habitat for Humanity homes in Summerside will be rented to 'deserving Island families,' the organization says. (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. government is creating 24 more affordable housing units in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association and Habitat for Humanity, the province said in a news release Thursday.

The plans include a 20-unit apartment building in Charlottetown and four family homes in the Summerside area.

The CMHA P.E.I. will receive $2 million to develop a 20-unit, three-storey apartment complex at 203 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown, the release said. The building will include 15 one-bedroom units and five studio apartments, including two accessible units.

The apartments will be for Islanders receiving assistance through the organization's mental health programs, and will rent for about $700 to $750 a month.

"We have been assisting clients with their housing needs for over 35 years and are acutely aware of the need for affordable housing in Charlottetown and the province as a whole," said CMHA P.E.I.'s acting executive director Shelley Muzika.

She said the building will also include much-needed office and meeting space for the organization.

'Affordable and appropriate'

Habitat for Humanity P.E.I. will receive just over $1 million to build four detached three-bedroom homes in the Summerside area that will be available for families to rent.

Construction will begin soon for a 20-unit apartment building on this vacant lot at 203 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown.
Construction will begin soon for a 20-unit apartment building on this vacant lot at 203 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown.(John Robertson/CBC)

Officials estimate rents will range from about $970 to $1,100.

"Our organization has a vision of an Island where everyone has an opportunity to live in a safe and affordable home," said Jamie MacKay, Habitat for Humanity P.E.I.'s CEO in the news release.

"This project will help to provide affordable and appropriate housing to deserving Island families."

Both projects will exceed the requirements of the national energy code for buildings by 20 per cent and will be net-zero ready — that means they can easily connect to a renewable energy system down the road.

Construction on both projects will begin later this year and officials said they expected them to be completed within 12 months.

P.E.I. is experiencing a housing crisis with a vacancy rate around 2.6 per cent, and the average rent increase last year more than double the legally allowed increase.

The government has made a flurry of investments in recent months in affordable housing, including an apartment complex in Summerside and one in Montague.

The Dennis King government has reached 742 out of its goal of creating 1,200 units over five years, a government spokesperson said Thursday.

As of the end of March, officials said there were 429 families and seniors on its registry waiting for social housing, compared to about 1,000 last year.

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