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New Brunswickers invited to provide input on affordable housing strategy

Click to play video 'New Brunswick looks at addressing province’s affordable housing problem' New Brunswick looks at addressing province’s affordable housing problem
WATCH: The Gallant government is looking at way to address the ongoing issue of affordable housing. As Paul Cormier reports, the province is now turning to its citizens for input.

Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman was in Moncton on Monday to launch a new online survey  encouraging New Brunswickers to share their thoughts on a new long term affordable housing strategy.

“We began work on this important project earlier this year and for the past few months we have been working with our stakeholders and our public housing clients to hear their ideas and their concerns,” Horsman said.

Now the province is asking its citizens to weigh in on the issue.

“We want to find out their take on things, how we’re doing, [and] what could be done better,” Horsman added.

READ MORE: Finding affordable housing a problem in Moncton

In September of 2016 the federal and provincial governments announced a $56-million affordable housing agreement. This agreement helps provide New Brunswick citizens with greater access to affordable housing.

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Included in the funding is $6.5 million to support construction and repair for seniors housing, $3.8 million for construction and renovation on shelters and transition houses, and $13.5 million to address repair on aging public housing, according to Horsman.

For stakeholders, they say the money has been a great help for existing housing in the short term.

“But what’s really needed now is a long term predictable plan, so that housing providers know the money they have to rely on each year, and how much support their will be to build new,” said Dan Murphy of New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association. “So there needs to be preservation of existing stock but at the same time there needs to be new stock added. So we hope this plan will help drive that road map where we need to go.”

READ MORE: End of federal funding for affordable housing worries N.B. non-profit group

New Brunswickers can find the survey on the government’s website or get paper copies at their regional social development offices.

The deadline to complete the survey is Aug. 31. a final report and recommendations is due out early next year.