New Affordable Rental Housing Goes Green in Halifax

    HALIFAX, March 24 /CNW/ - Halifax residents will soon be moving into new,
affordable, energy-efficient homes in Fairview. Twenty-three units of
affordable rental housing have been built at 37 Main Ave. through the
Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
    Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's, on
behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development, and Judy Streatch, Nova Scotia Minister of Community Services,
opened the rental housing, today, March 24.
    "I am proud to be here today to participate in the official opening of
Jacob's Manor, which has been built as a 'green', energy-efficient building,"
said MP Gerald Keddy. "By investing in this housing project with Nova Scotia,
Canada's New Government is ensuring there is quality, affordable housing
available for individuals, families and seniors in Halifax."
    The building meets R-2000 standards and has many energy-efficient
features such as compact florescent bulbs, front-loading washing machines,
fibreglass windows and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The units are
heated, cooled and provided with hot water by an advanced geothermal heat
system, which draws energy from the ground. The building also has a number of
environmentally friendly features including flooring made of 66 per cent
recycled materials.
    "Jacob's Manor is a showpiece in affordable housing," said Ms. Streatch.
"A lot of thought has gone into designing good quality housing that the
community can be proud of. It is a great example of how we can create new
housing that is both affordable and energy efficient."
    Through the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement, the
federal government provided $575,000 in capital, and Nova Scotia Community
Services is providing $182,000 in rent-supplement funding. The Department of
Energy provided $18,000 to design an energy-efficient heating system.
    The four-story building includes seven studios, one two-bedroom and
15 one-bedroom units. The building has an elevator and two
wheelchair-accessible units. All units are accessible to visitors with
mobility challenges.
    The building has been named Jacob's Manor in memory of the late Jacob
Ghosn. Mr. Ghosn is the father of Cristine Kahil and Jasmine and Peter Ghosn,
who run the family business, Rockingstone Developments Incorporated.
    "Everyone should have an opportunity to live in homes that are
accessible, energy efficient and environmentally friendly," said
Cristine Kahil, President of Rockingstone Developments Incorporated. "We
really wanted to show people the possibilities with the next generation of
affordable housing. I think our father would be really proud of what we have
been able to accomplish. The gift of his land has resulted in homes that are
affordable for people in this community."
    By March 2009, the federal government, the province and its partners,
will commit $56.2 million through the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing
Program Agreement for the construction or renovation of affordable housing in
the province.
    Information on the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program
Agreement is available at local housing services offices, on the Department of
Community Services website at or at

                         A backgrounder is attached.

           Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement

    First Phase

    The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia signed an Affordable Housing
Program Agreement on September 13, 2002 - the first phase provided federal
funding of $18.63 million together with matching contributions of
$18.63 million from the Province of Nova Scotia.
    The 2001 Speech from the Throne indicated the Government of Canada would
help stimulate the creation of more affordable rental housing. The
federal/provincial/territorial housing ministers met twice to finalize details
of an affordable housing initiative that would address the needs and
priorities of individual jurisdictions while meeting the goal of increasing
the supply of affordable housing. The final framework was developed and agreed
to on November 30, 2001 and includes the following:

    - Provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for housing
      program design and delivery;
    - Provinces and territories require flexible programs to address their
      housing needs;
    - The initiative needs to create affordable housing for low- to moderate-
      income households;
    - Units funded will remain affordable for a minimum of 10 years;
    - Maximum subsidy is $25,000 per unit, and;
    - Provinces and territories will be required to match federal
      contributions overall.

    Second Phase:

    The new agreement was signed March 3, 2005 and will see each level of
government contribute $9.46 million for the creation or renovation of
affordable housing in Nova Scotia. The second phase reflects the framework
determined in phase one of the Affordable Housing Program Agreement, with the
exception that the maximum subsidy is greater, and that potential households
or clients, must be eligible to be on the social housing waiting list.

    Other Government of Canada Housing Support in Nova Scotia

    The $28.09 million federal contribution builds on current Government of
Canada expenditures on housing in the province of Nova Scotia. The Government
of Canada annually supports housing with approximately $80.9 million in
grants, contributions and subsidies which primarily serve some 22,850
lower-income families, seniors, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people,
and victims of domestic violence.
    This includes funds for existing social housing and approximately
$7 million for the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), Home
Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI), Emergency Repair Program (ERP)
and the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).

    Other Government of Nova Scotia Housing Support Programs

    The provincial government offers a number of programs to help lower-income
households maintain, acquire, or rent safe, adequate, and affordable housing.
Through housing authorities, we own and operate over 12,000 rental housing
units for families and seniors. Rent is based on household income. We also
provide grants and loans for home repair and additions, as well as mortgage
funds to purchase or build modest houses.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Karen White, Community
Services, (902) 424-4038,; Mary-Jana Wege, Canada Mortgage
and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-6581,

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