27 Feb New Investments to Help Fight Homelessness and Provide Affordable Housing
Access to safe and affordable housing is important for a person’s quality of life. That is why the province is making investments to fight homelessness, provide affordable housing, and raise the income level of those who need it most.
Beginning this year, $20.5 million will be invested over five years for the Integrated Action Plan to Address Homelessness. The action plan will focus on finding permanent, stable, and safe homes for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Efforts to strengthen Nova Scotia’s housing programs will continue, with an investment of $18.7 million to deliver on year two of the three-year Housing Action Plan and additional housing priorities. For instance, this will include initiatives like the construction of new affordable housing units, repairs, and renewal of public housing units and improved accessibility of public housing units.
This year will also see the largest single increase to the Nova Scotia Child Benefit since it was created in 1998. The income threshold for the Nova Scotia Child Benefit will be increased. Consequently, families with incomes of $34,000 or below will now be eligible. The expanded child benefit will support almost 28,000 families and 49,000 children.
The amount families receive will also increase. Eligible families will now receive $925 per year for their first child. That is up to $300 more for some families. For each additional child, families will receive between $412 and $825 depending on income level.
Additional investments include:
- $250,000 to double the budget for the Down Payment Assistance Program. This brings the investments in the program to a total of $500,000. This will expand the program’s lending capacity from $1.1 million to $2.2 million, and allow more low and modest income home buyers to enter the housing market.
- $2 million to sustain the Affordable Renters Program. The program lowers energy bills for low-income renters and makes homes more comfortable. It also ensures that rents remain stable through energy efficiency upgrades to multi-unit buildings.
- $400,000 to keep children out of shelters.
- $17.3 million to support the Standard Household Rate under the Income Assistance program to improve the monthly income of Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable.
To read more about the Housing Action Plan, visit: https://housing.novascotia.ca/2019-2022-nova-scotia-action-plan