Nova Scotia

No money for contractors: housing co-op

A Halifax housing co-op says it doesn't have the money to pay 17 contractors for the work they did last summer.

A Halifax housing co-op says it doesn't have the money to pay 17 contractors for the work they did last summer.

The contractors say they're owed nearly $1 million for renovation work for the North End United Housing Cooperative. Several are threatening to sue.

But the co-op's board of directors says it too is in a bind.

"Unfortunately, and not uncommon to renovating very old and run-down units, costs escalated beyond budgets," the board said in a statement released on Monday.

"The board is very aware of the burden placed upon the contractors, whose invoices remain outstanding, and is very sympathetic to their needs.

"However, as a not-for-profit housing co-operative, the payment of these outstanding invoices is well beyond the limits of NEU's operating budget."

The board says it's negotiating with the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services to find a solution.

$3.1M for renos

The companies were hired last year to renovate kitchens, bathrooms, windows and roofs at several co-op properties. The work wrapped up at the end of summer.

The $3.1 million for the renovation project came from the federal government and Nova Scotia's social housing assistance repairs program.

Last week, provincial officials told CBC News that all of the money was paid out and any outstanding costs were the co-op's responsibility.

Some contractors say they may go out of business because they're out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Subcontractor Dan Monk said he's suing Reliable Rooter Ltd., a company that hired him to work on bathrooms.

"We've got a great working relationship," Monk said. "I shouldn't have to sue him. It's because he's owed money he can't pay me my $250,000. That's the sad shape of it."

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