MIRAMICHI (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments and community partners are investing $13.3 million in affordable housing projects in Miramichi. The funding will help create and renovate a total of 49 units for seniors, youth at risk, and women and children escaping domestic violence.

“We are pleased to support private and non-profit developers in all regions of the province to help address the housing needs of New Brunswickers,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Housing issues are a priority for our government. Thanks to the partnership with many developers, we expect to see the creation of hundreds of new affordable housing units in the coming years.”

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said federal Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen. “That is why we are creating more affordable housing for those who need it most, right here in Miramichi. These new homes will positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable. By investing in affordable housing, we are providing more Canadians with access to affordable and quality homes in vibrant and welcoming communities. This is one of the many ways our government’s National Housing Strategy is ensuring that no one is left behind.”

ESAH Development, a three-storey apartment building under construction at 344 Wellington St., will feature 21 mixed-market units geared toward non-elderly singles, families, and persons with disabilities. Ten will be affordable housing units for people receiving rent supplements, while two units will be fully accessible. The parking space and main floor will be barrier-free. Construction is expected to be completed next month.

The federal government provided $2.4 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), while the provincial government is providing $1.19 million in rent supplement funding over 20 years, along with $600,000 through the Affordable Rental Housing Program (AHRP). The City of Miramichi is providing $136,000.

Another project, at 2108 Water St., is receiving just under $2.5 million from the federal government for the construction of 20 affordable housing units for youth at risk and women and children escaping domestic violence. The provincial government is contributing $1.05 million through the Affordable Rental Housing Program and $1.78 million in rent supplements over 20 years for 15 of the units, while the City of Miramichi is investing $140,000. That project is expected to be completed in August.

Frieda’s House, a project by the Miramichi Emergency Centre for Women, is being built at 45 Waterfront Dr. It is receiving just under $1.8 million from the federal government to convert a building into an eight-unit complex for women and children fleeing violence; this funding comes from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund’s Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing initiative. The provincial government is investing $705,618 through the Affordable Rental Housing Program and $950,000 in rent supplements over 20 years. The City of Miramichi is contributing just over $90,000 for the project, which is expected to be completed in June.

“The City of Miramichi has made the development of affordable housing a top priority and is pleased to be a pro-active partner in funding these much-needed housing projects,” said Mayor Adam Lordon. “We are committed to working with developers and non-profit organizations to continue to help our vulnerable population and build the affordable housing units our community urgently needs.”

The Affordable Rental Housing Program provides financial assistance to private entrepreneurs, private non-profit corporations (includes off-reserve Indigenous population), and co-operatives for the construction, repair and conversion of rental housing projects. Assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan and is based on the cost of eligible work and the number of eligible self-contained units or bed units within a project. The rent supplement assistance associated with 33 of the units is meant to keep this housing affordable, as tenants will pay no more than 30 per cent of their total household income in rent; the difference will be paid to the owner by the government.