Ottawa making $8.7M available in Halifax for affordable housing

·1 min read

Ottawa has made up to $8.7 million available for low-income housing projects in the Halifax area.

The funding is part of a $1-billion federal plan to build up to 3,000 new homes for Canadians in need.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for sure," said Jim Graham, executive director of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, on Tuesday.

"The question is how can we — as a community, with Halifax and [bringing] the province onboard — is there a possibility we can work together and do more together than we might be able to individually?"

Deadline approaching

In a news release, the federal government said the Rapid Housing Initiative is designed to "cover the construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion/rehabilitation of existing buildings to affordable housing."

The deadline for applications is nine weeks away, and the projects must be completed within a year from any agreement. Graham said the tight timeline will be challenging.

His association met last week with representatives from the three levels of government, non-profit groups and the private sector in anticipation of Tuesday's announcement.

Graham said the situation is critical for people in need of affordable housing.

"It's very urgent," he said.

"From those who are absolutely homeless and trying to find a place to live, to those who are precariously housed, to those folks who are facing a notice to quit because properties are being purchased and renovated."