New Brunswick announces the construction of 380 social housing units

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New Brunswick announces the construction of 380 social housing units

In New Brunswick, 14,500 people live in social housing deemed affordable or benefit from rent subsidies.

New Brunswick is taking the housing crisis in hand and announces that it will build 380 new social housing units, in addition to immediately renovating 110 vacant units.

The province will invest 102.2 million dollars to this extent. One hundred million will be spent on new construction and 2.2 million is earmarked for renovations.

The housing units will be distributed as follows:

  • 120 housing units in Saint -Jean, Moncton and Fredericton (40 per city);
  • 68 units in northern New Brunswick;
  • 192 units in areas where the need is greatest.

The work of renovation of the 110 units will be completed by March 31, 2023. As for the construction of the new units, planning will be done this year and construction could begin in the spring of 2023.

Ministers Dorothy Shephard and Arlene Dunn at $100 million investment announcement for the construction of new social housing.

Currently, the Department of Social Development owns and operates 808 buildings with a total of 3800 dwellings. Most of these homes, built in the 1970s under the Hatfield government, are aging, with an average age of 52.

Time for further development housing, said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard.

She added that her department will work with municipalities to determine where new housing will be built, but Shephard said that there is a desire to integrate housing into existing neighborhoods.

Juanita Black first applied for social housing when her son was two years old. The first accommodation he was offered, on McLaren Boulevard in Saint John, had no hot water or emergency exit.

Juanita Black, who campaigns for more housing for low-income families, was pleased with the announcement that 380 new homes would be built.

A few years later, she was able to benefit from better social housing, and she is happy that things are changing and improving.

It will shorten the waiting list and people's anxiety about not having a decent place to live, she believes.

“You need to have a place to sleep to get up in the morning and have a good day.

—Juanita Black, Public Housing Resident

This is the first time in nearly 40 years that the province has built new housing. In recent years, the province has relied instead on partnerships with the private sector to build affordable housing.

Dorothy Shephard is back as Minister of Social Development after her stint as Minister of Health.

Minister Shephard has also stressed that she wants to continue working with private and community partners to achieve her goal of building 1,000 new affordable housing units within 7 years.

More than 14,500 New Brunswickers live in social, affordable or subsidized housing.

Rising cost of living combined with booming housing market has contributed to an increase in demand for affordable housing and especially social housing, says Ms. Shephard.

She admits that the province is going through a major crisis.

There will be 40 new social housing units in Saint-Jean.

I don't know how you can say there is no crisis. I speak for myself, and for the government, and I believe there is a crisis, she said.

New Brunswick introduced a cap on rent increases during the pandemic. In principle, the measure will not be extended beyond December 31, 2022, which worries several anti-poverty organizations.

Dorothy Shephard indicated in a press scrum that her Service New Brunswick colleague, new Minister Jill Green, may make an announcement related to this issue. In addition, the Department of Social Development plans to announce its plan for the arrival of the winter season and homelessness within the next few days.

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