MONCTON (GNB) – The first three-year action plan in a ten-year provincial-federal housing agreement will invest more than $63 million in the repair, renovation and creation of affordable rental units.

Each level of government will make annual investments of $9.9 million, $10 million and $11.6 million respectively beginning in the current fiscal year.

“This action plan will provide New Brunswickers with timely access to affordable housing that meets their needs,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “It recognizes the right to suitable housing in healthy, diverse communities and empowers individuals and families to reach their full potential.”

A total of $6.8 million from this investment will go toward creating 151 affordable rental units in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Another $26 million will be allocated for the repair and renovation of more than 5,100 affordable rental units across the province.

"Safe, adequate and affordable housing is crucial in helping Canadians achieve their goals, from raising healthy children to pursuing education, jobs and opportunity,” said federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “This three-year plan is the National Housing Strategy in action. It is the first step in setting down a roadmap to more affordable, safe and secure housing for families and individuals of New Brunswick.”

Petitpas Taylor spoke on behalf of federal Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who is also the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Creating “mixed housing communities” aims to increase access to affordable housing in inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods to the benefit of low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Other highlights include:

  • Promotion of social inclusiveness by ensuring 25 per cent of investments support the needs of women and girls.
  • Ensuring that at least 15 per cent of new and renovated units are accessible and that all new and renovated seniors’ units are accessible.
  • Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from new constructions will be at least 25 per cent lower than National Building Code requirements.

The action plan aligns with the province’s new 10-year strategy, A Home for Everyone 2019-2029. The strategy focuses on working with individuals and families to define and reach their particular housing goals. This will be facilitated through services that provide incentives and support for people, particularly those with mental health or addiction issues.

The three-year action plan and the provincial strategy were developed after a public consultation process, and both align with the federal government’s National Housing Strategy: A Place to Call Home. Consultations involved government and community partners, eight client focus groups and nearly 1,000 New Brunswickers who participated in an online survey.

The agreement calls for increased transparency, public engagement and housing quality. It also acknowledges the importance of prioritizing people most in need, incorporating a human rights-based approach to housing, and applying a gender lens to all investments.