Dartmouth apartment building to have 109 affordable units thanks to loan from feds

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The affordable housing announcement was made by Ahmed Hussen, the minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The affordable housing announcement was made by Ahmed Hussen, the minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A Dartmouth, N.S., apartment building under construction will include 109 affordable units, thanks to a deal that will see the federal government provide the developer with a low-interest, $44.6-million loan.

The Armour Group's 15-storey apartment building at 1020 Micmac Blvd. will have 148 apartments in total. The loan from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation comes with a repayment period of 50 years.

"Those are the factors that really impact our ability to think long-term," said Armour Group president Scott McCrea. "It alters our perspective in terms of being able to provide affordable housing, and allow these developments to take place."

The funding comes through the rental construction financing initiative, a national program that encourages construction of affordable rental housing in expensive real estate markets.

The announcement was made Friday from Ottawa by Ahmed Hussen, the minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Of the 148 units, 109 will have rental amounts that are at least 20 per cent below the area's median household income, said Hussen. He said 57 of these units will have affordable rents for at least 21 years.

Big need for affordable housing, says local MP

The MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Darren Fisher, said there's an urgent need for affordable housing near the Dartmouth core that has access to public transit.

"Every day I see firsthand the housing issues in this province," he said. "And when I speak with constituents, they constantly mention that their No. 1 concern is either housing availability or housing affordability, and sometimes it's both."

The building will also include ground-floor storage for up to 75 bicycles to encourage commuting along nearby bike baths.

McCrea said the building should be complete in the summer or fall of next year.

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