PEI

$11.9M for affordable housing complex announced by federal government

The federal government is pitching in to help with the building of an affordable housing complex in Charlottetown.

'Look at the dust flying around. It's a great day'

The plans are examined at the building site following the federal funding announcement. (Sarah MacMIllan/CBC)

The federal government is pitching in to help with the building of an affordable housing complex in Charlottetown.

The 60-unit building is going up at 2 Acadian Dr., near Carrefour de l'Îsle-St.-Jean. Ottawa is providing an $11 million loan, along with a $900,000 grant for the project.

"We've got a significant housing crunch. We have people in my constituency office almost every day that need a place to live, that want help finding a place," said Charlottetown MP Sean Casey, who made the announcement on behalf of the federal government. 

"This is a problem right across the country, but it's particularly acute in Charlottetown." 

'Finally happening'

The building, known as Martha Place, will be operated by Kings Square Affordable Housing Corporation. Originally planned for Sherwood Road, the project has been several years in the making.

In the end, the province offered up the land on Acadian Drive, transferring ownership to Kings Square. The city will provide tax relief of $1.7 million over 20 years. 

"It's finally happening," said Bill Campbell, president of Kings Square Affordable Housing Corporation.

"Look at the dust flying around. It's a great day." 

Construction began on the building at the end of May. The contractor expects it to be ready for occupancy in July of next year.

Construction began on the project in May. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

Campbell said there are more than 200 people in urgent need on the Kings Square waiting list alone.

"I've been in this for a long time, and you know you see people day after day, and you listen to them say in desperation that they don't have any place to go."

The federal funding is from the National Housing Co-investment Fund. Fifty of the building's units will be rented on an income-based system, and the remaining 10 at market rates. Eighteen of the 60 units will be fully accessible.

The vacancy rate in Charlottetown is at a record low, listed at 0.2 per cent last fall.

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With files from Sarah MacMillan

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