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Affordable housing to stay in Truro, with help from housing program

By Caitlin Snow May 9, 2023 | 1:06 PM

Nicolas Raymond / CC

The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council is purchasing three buildings with 15 affordable housing units, in Truro, with help from the province.

“We’re pleased to help the co-op council buy these rental properties so that the residents can continue to live in a place they know and where they can access the community supports and services they may need,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr. “This is great news for the community and for those people living in these units.”

The province is providing a low-interest mortgage of $1.7 million to the co-op council, through the Community Housing Acquisition Program.

This way, residents can continue to live in a place they know.

The Department of Community Services is providing more than $78 thousand in annual funding, for operations and support services for tenants. The type of service depends on tenants’ identified needs such as support for maintaining the unit, referrals to mental health and addictions services, and system navigation supports.

“I’m pleased to say that we are not only preserving affordable units, but also providing services to residents to ensure they get the support they need to maintain their tenancy and independence.”
– Jill Balser, acting Minister of Community Services

“It’s not easy finding an apartment that is accessible for a wheelchair, and when you do there is always a premium on price. I was so relieved when I heard that our units were being bought by a not-for-profit. Within a week, the new owners had a meeting with all tenants to ask for our input and to assure us that we would not be evicted, and we won’t be seeing large increases in rent. I finally have some peace of mind that I will have a safe, affordable and accessible apartment for as long as I want to live here, and I’m not going anywhere. This is my home.”
– Sandra Finney, tenant, Truro property owned by the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council Ltd.

Launched in July 2022, the Community Housing Acquisition Program is the first of its kind in Canada. Under the program, co-ops and non-profit housing providers can access up to $10 million in repayable low-interest loans to purchase existing rental units.

This is the fifth project acquired by a non-profit organization through the acquisition program.

Quick Facts:
— the acquisition program fulfills the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission’s recommendation to help non-profits finance the purchase of rental properties at risk of being converted into higher-end developments
— the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia was the first organization to receive a low-interest mortgage through the program and acquired nearly 300 affordable rental units in Halifax Regional Municipality
— the Department of Community Services has a supportive housing mandate, to ensure Nova Scotians can maintain housing and access services and supports to address and prevent homelessness



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