Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada along with the Honourable Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, announced 8 million dollars in new funding for social housing repairs and upgrades on January 23. The announcement was made at Highfield Park Housing Cooperative in Dartmouth.

With the new funding, housing co-ops will be able to move forward with renovations and upgrades thanks to help from the Social Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP).

“Co-ops are an important piece of the affordable housing mix,” said Minister Joanne Bernard. “Residents have access to stable, long-term housing, and they have a voice in how the co-operatives are governed.”

“The SHARP program will allow co-ops to make necessary repairs while keeping their rent affordable,” said Opal Brinston, a 23-year co-op member at Needham Housing Co-op in Halifax. “This announcement is welcome news for the housing co-op community.”

Housing co-ops can apply for up to $24,000 per unit. Loans are forgiven over a maximum ten-year period. These investments are a result of $42 million in deferred federal contributions that the province committed to invest in affordable housing.

The province is partnering with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, which will assist with the application process. The program is a key part of Nova Scotia’s housing strategy.