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Response to New Brunswick’s new housing strategy: Housing for All

Published July 05, 2023

New Brunswick released a new provincial housing strategy: Housing for All, on June 29, 2023. It is the start of the province’s 10-year plan to ensure New Brunswickers can access safe, affordable, and healthy homes. The plan is focused on achieving maximum impact over the next few years.

We are encouraged by the guiding principles to develop strong partnerships between all levels of government and the private and non-profit sectors.The co-op housing sector is ready and willing to be a dedicated partner working together towards safe and affordable housing for all in New Brunswick and across the Atlantic Region.

Notably, we are glad to see commitments in the plan to make surplus government land available for affordable housing and to fund repairs for housing co-ops. Some highlights include:

  • Make government surplus property available for affordable housing development
  • $21 million to repair 2,750 non-profit and co-operative housing units

CHF Canada welcomes the opportunity to grow the co-op housing sector in New Brunswick. This is possible through new site development and the acquisition of existing rental buildings. As the province undergoes its review of surplus land that could go to municipalities or the non-profit sector, we are here to discuss any potential sites for housing co-ops. Co-ops are a permanently affordable solution, and we will continue to engage with the province on the need for more co-operative, affordable housing.

The reality is that many individuals and families in New Brunswick are struggling to afford their homes. This new provincial housing strategy is a significant milestone to address New Brunswick’s housing crisis. However, our co-op members also need long-term rental assistance to ensure security and affordability.

This speaks to one of the goals in the housing strategy: “Help low-income New Brunswickers stay in their current housing”. As such, we would like more clarity on how the new direct-to-tenant rental benefit, with an annual contribution of $22 million, could affect our low-income co-op members who require rental assistance.

Ultimately, CHF Canada commends the Province of New Brunswick, and Social Development Minister Jill Green who is also minister responsible for the New Brunswick Housing Corporation, for the development of this housing strategy. Housing co-ops in New Brunswick, such as Unified Saint John Housing Co-op, are a key part of the solution towards affordable housing. We look forward to further engagement on the implementation of the Housing for All strategy, to achieve our shared vision towards housing for all, with the inclusion of co-operative housing.

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