November 13, 2018 7:30 pm

Fredericton non-profit says federal funding needed now to address N.B. housing crisis

WATCH: There is a growing crisis in affordable housing in the province. As Megan Yamoah reports, thousands of units are in desperate need of repair, but millions of dollars promised earlier this year to help won't be made available until well into 2019.

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There is a lack of affordable housing in New Brunswick and funding is desperately needed.

According to the New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association, 28,000 families are in need of housing and there are only 15,000 units in existence.

The association says other services can aid the crisis surrounding affordable housing, adding it isn’t just about putting people in homes — they need further support in education goals, health issues and financial literacy.

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The federal government and the New Brunswick government signed a 10-year agreement on July 9 of this year, an investment of almost $300 million into community housing efforts in New Brunswick.

“We are waiting to see the $300-million investment that we were promised by the federal government in July,” said Erin Pelerine, a spokesperson for the association.

“A lot of our vulnerable population in New Brunswick really need to see some wrap-around services which are helping them with education goals and health-related issues.”

Megan Yamoah

This housing agreement is set to commence on April 1, 2019, but Pelerine says the funds are needed now.

“Our members are waiting on the funding because as their operating agreements are starting to expire, they are facing viability issues with keeping the projects open.”

The decade-long agreement is slated to put $300 million towards renewing and expanding social and community housing, as well as supporting plans related to housing repair, construction and affordability.

If they don’t get the funding soon, Erin says their members won’t be able to offer affordable housing to those in need and maintain their aging properties.

“If their funding runs out, they are going to have to raise the rents, [and] they may not be able to renovate their buildings. The buildings that we are talking about are about 25 or 30 years old so some of them are looking at major renovations.”

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