FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has launched an online survey encouraging New Brunswickers to share their thoughts on a new long-term affordable housing strategy.

“The Department of Social Development is looking forward to hearing from people across the province,” said Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. “Input from the public will help your government develop a durable long-term housing strategy that is in harmony with federal strategies and initiatives. We have been consulting with stakeholder groups and our clients and we are now reaching out to the general public to hear their thoughts.”

“The ideas that we, as stakeholders, have about what is important in a housing strategy may be different from those of other stakeholders and members of the public,” said Debbie McInnis, executive director of the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick. “From our ongoing work in the community we know that many voices lead to more fulsome and inclusive solutions.”

Paper copies of the survey are also available from regional Social Development offices.

New Brunswickers will have until Aug. 31 to complete the survey. Submissions will be compiled by the department in preparation for a final report and recommendations to the government.

Last summer, the federal government undertook broad consultations with stakeholders to develop the 2017 National Housing Strategy. The provincial government plan is to engage individuals in a similar manner in order to develop its own strategy that will guide government policies. New Brunswick’s strategy will be designed to work in conjunction with the federal strategy to overcome challenges facing the housing system in the province.

In September of 2016, the federal and provincial governments announced a $56-million affordable housing agreement. The two-year agreement provides funding for the construction and repair of affordable housing for seniors; the construction and renovation of shelters and transition houses for victims of family violence; and repairs to social housing units.