After Moncton and the New Brunswick government each committed $6 million to support an affordable housing project over three years, Ottawa is coming to the table too.
Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor stopped at city hall Friday morning to announce $3.4 million through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative, for Rising Tide Community Initiative.
The original plan was for Rising Tide to create 125 affordable housing units over three years. Dale Hicks, a co-founder of the project, called the contribution from all three levels of government a “hat-trick” and said the federal investment would both expedite and expand the project.
“Now with the icing on the cake, end of three years, we’re probably going to be up in the 155, 160, 165 range,” he told reporters. “So it’s going to have more people housed at the end of three years than what we had planned in the original proposal.”
Sixty-two units are expected to be created over the next year, compared to the original plan, which called for 25 units with only provincial and municipal support.
And Rising Tide has already put offers in on “a couple of properties” that will require renovation, Hicks said, and he hopes to have them ready to house people by “late spring, early summer.”
“Probably at the end of three years, Rising Tide will own $9 or $10 million worth of property,” he said after the press conference. “So we don’t have to worry about a landlord coming in and saying, ‘OK this is the third time I’ve had to deal with your client, they’re being evicted.'”
“We don’t have to worry about a developer coming in and saying I’m buying up that apartment and now the rent’s going up by $400,” Hicks said.
The focus will be on housing the homeless, but it’s also “about keeping people from falling into homelessness,” he said.
Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold thanked the volunteer board with Rising Tide for their work.
“This has been a long go,” she said. “But they did not give up … They had the passion to make it happen.”
“There’s nothing more critical to our growth than ensuring that all Monctonians have the dignity of a roof over their head,” Arnold said.
Hicks said a job posting is out for managing director of Rising Tide — with about eight or nine applications received — that closes at the end of March.
The plan has been to also have wraparound support services, such as case managers, as part of the initiative. Hicks said in some cases, if a client has support services through another non-profit, they could remain in place.
“We’re working through what that model would look like right now,” he said, “but it’s about having the proper level of case management for the clients involved in the Rising Tide project.”