Nova Scotia has announced a $115 million funding program to help Nova Scotians with the rising cost of living — including one-time grants to those on income assistance.
The province announced on Wednesday that all households receiving income assistance will get a one-time payment of $250 before Christmas, while full-time foster families will receive $1,000.
That funding is expected to cost about $6.7 million, the province said.
As well on Wednesday, the province said more people will also become eligible for the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP), and for a higher rebate, this year.
For this year only, the rebate will increase from $200 to $1000, and households with incomes of up to $85,000 will be eligible.
Any applications that were denied this year will be reviewed again. Applications for the expanded program will open Jan. 30
Premier Tim Houston said the investment will help more Nova Scotians stay warm this winter.
In addition, the province is also providing $8.7 million to community organizations across the province. According to the release, the money will go to:
- $3 million to the Disability Support Program residential facilities and Child and Youth
- $3 million for food banks and organizations involved in food security, including Feed
- $2.6 million for 26 Family Resource Centres
- $100,000 to provide $10,000 each to 10 transition houses
Some of these payments are set to be released this Friday.
Nova Scotians who are not on income assistance will not receive a one-time payment, but can apply for HARP if eligible.
In comparison, Quebec announced last month all residents earning $100,000 or less will receive a $600 cheque to help offset the impact of rising inflation — for about 6.5 million residents.
Nova Scotia said the funding for this announcement came from new spending for the province, which saw a “surprise” $350.9-million surplus in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“We’re recognizing there’s things we can do,” Houston said in the Wednesday presser, adding the province is always looking at how the budget evolves.