HALIFAX, N.S.—The Nova Scotia government is planning to invest $8 million to undertake repairs at housing co-operatives through funding from the Social Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP).
"Co-ops are an important piece of the affordable housing mix," said Joanne Bernard, minister responsible for housing Nova Scotia. "Residents have access to stable, long-term housing, and they have a voice in how the co-operatives are governed."
The $8-million investment will be made over the next three years to help co-ops make repairs to members’ homes.
Many of the province’s housing co-operatives are showing their age and the funding will help preserve affordable housing.
"The SHARP program will allow co-ops to make necessary repairs while keeping their rent affordable," said Opal Brinton, a 23-year co-op member at Needham Housing Co-op in Halifax. "This announcement is welcome news for the housing co-op community."
Housing co-ops can apply for up to $24,000 per unit for repairs, including structural, electrical, plumbing, heating and modifications for accessibility. Funds from the program are forgiven over a maximum 10-year period.
The province is partnering with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), which will help with applications. There are 69 housing co-operatives in Nova Scotia providing affordable housing to 4,300 households.
The funds will be drawn from the $42 million in deferred federal contributions the province committed to invest in affordable housing.