Nova Scotia

Antigonish affordable housing development aimed at families and disabled

Low-income families and disabled residents in Antigonish, N.S., will soon have more options to rent affordable housing.

No new public housing apartments have been built in last 20 years; 194 families waiting

Low-income families and disabled residents in Antigonish, N.S., will soon have more options to rent affordable housing with a new project announced Friday.

The first phase of Riverside Estates will be a multi-family building with ground floor apartments designed to be barrier free. It will include two two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units.
An engineer's drawing of what Riverside Estates will look like. (www.themarthas.com)

The Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, which will manage and operate the development, says rent will be no more than 30 per cent of a resident's income.

Colleen Cameron, chair of the society, said the project has been a complete community effort, with $100,000 funding from higher levels of government, $100,000 from the Sisters of St. Martha and $100,000 promised from the County of Antigonish.

Families on waiting list

"It was the community that started this whole idea of building affordable housing," she said.

"It's been about 23 years since the first group of people came together to look at the issues and see what could be done to address these issues."

According to the society, no new public housing apartments have been built in the area since 1996 and there are currently 194 families on a waiting list.

Cameron said the concept is more than just a building to house low-income people.

"A place where people can call home, where there's a community built in this housing units," she said.

14 units built when project finished

"We're going to have community gardens, we're going to have clothes lines so we're really looking at energy efficiency."

When both phases of the development are finished, there will be 14 one- and two-bedroom units for rent.

"We also want to raise some money so we can have support for people who are moving into these units, so they are supported in many different ways," Cameron said.

Ground-breaking is planned for next month and Cameron said they hope to have the first families moved in by the end of the year.

"This is a different vision, it's not a housing project, it's whole development we want to be a sustainable, safe, liveable place people can enjoy living there for a long time."

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