By Richard Bell
At a joint press conference in Porters Lake on January 24, MP Darrell Samson and MLA Kevin Murphy announced a joint federal and provincial investment of $663,000 to subsidize access to new affordable housing in Porters Lake.
The need for affordable housing is acute on the Eastern Shore, and throughout HRM. The formal definition of affordable housing is housing where people no more than 30% of their income for their housing. According to Statistics Canada, in 2006, more than one renter household out of five in the HRM was paying more than 50% of their gross income on housing.
There new government investments will pay for a total of 13 one bedroom plus den affordable housing units (two three-unit rowhouses and one seven-unit rowhouse) on Brightside Court in Porters Lake. The development will also include four affordable housing rent supplements, which means that Housing Nova Scotia will pay the property owner the difference between the established rent and 30 per cent of the tenant's monthly income in those units.
In keeping with Nova Scotia’s rapidly aging population, the units are designed to support aging in place. All bathrooms will have raised toilets, wall-mounted grab bars, drawered storage, and low-threshold showers with seats and handheld showerheads. The lower kitchen cabinets will also provide roll out drawer storage. Four of the units will be fully barrier-free, while the remaining will be visitable.
The investment in the construction of the new units is from the Affordable Housing Social Infrastructure Fund and the Affordable Housing New Rental Program, as well as a seed grant from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Lee Theriault, the builder, said that he expected the units to be ready for occupancy this spring.