FREDERICTON (GNB) – The second phase of a project to build micro-homes for people experiencing homelessness in Fredericton is receiving $13.3 million in funding assistance from the provincial and the federal governments. This will result in another 60 micro-homes being built by 12 Neighbours Community Inc.; 36 were built during the first phase.

“12 Neighbours Community Inc. is certainly the most innovative initiative that has been developed in New Brunswick to help vulnerable residents in need of housing, and we are pleased to provide more funding for that project,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Jill Green, who is also the minister responsible for housing. “Dozens of low-income individuals that were confronted with homelessness have already found a home in the 12 Neighbours community and many more will have that opportunity thanks to Phase 2 of the project.”

Green was speaking on behalf of Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard.

Located at 100 Smart Centers Way, the community consists of fully independent and detached micro-homes on their own small private yard. The project involves building and arranging a total of 96 homes in neighbourhood blocks of 12. Each 18 sq. metre (200 sq. feet) home has a bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, sleeping space for one or two people, plus living and dining areas.

“Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said federal Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen. “This is why we are proud to be creating an additional 60 units of affordable housing for those who need it most. Today's announcement is a step forward in our ongoing efforts to deliver meaningful results and increased affordability for Canadians, including those living right here in Fredericton. This is just one way our government’s National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.”

The provincial and federal governments are investing a combined $2.4 million in the form of a forgivable loan through the Affordable Rental Housing Program. In addition, rent supplements for each unit built during the second phase will ensure that tenants do not pay more than 30 per cent of their total household income in rent. This represents an additional investment of $7.1 million over the next 20 years.

The federal government is also contributing $3.8 million for Phases I and II of the project through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, a component of the National Housing Strategy and a program delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Last year, the first phase of the project received $1,440,000 – also in the form of a forgivable loan – through the Affordable Rental Housing Program, as well as rent supplements for each unit.

The homes are built by 12 Neighbours Community Inc. in a warehouse at 140 Clark St. in accordance with the province’s Green Building standards. The project will also include a social enterprise centre with retail space and services.

“We are pleased to receive this important support from both levels of government on this project,” said Marcel LeBrun, founder of 12 Neighbours Community Inc. “This neighbourhood of micro-homes already makes an important difference in the lives of so many people, and the completion of the project will be an asset for the overall Fredericton community as an important contributor in helping to reduce homelessness.”

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.