People living in Halifax Regional Municipality will have access to more affordable rental housing thanks to a $1.54-million, 24-unit development approved under the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement. David Morse, Minister of Community Services, and Geoff Regan, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on behalf of Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing, made the announcement today, Oct. 12. “Housing is a basic necessity of life. It contributes to the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities,” said Mr. Morse. “The creation of safe, affordable, and sustainable housing addresses an identified need for more affordable homes in Halifax.” “We remain committed to working with our provincial colleagues to create affordable homes for people living in Halifax,” said Mr. Regan. “Our ongoing support creates new, affordable rental housing in Nova Scotia that might not have been available otherwise.” The central Halifax development will be located on Agricola Street. The four-storey building will create 24 units of affordable rental housing for single-person households, persons with disabilities, small families and seniors. Of the 24 units, five are barrier free and 19 are visitable. This means they incorporate design features that reduce barriers to people with physical disabilities or reduced mobility. The project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2006, the government of Canada is providing $600,000 in up-front capital funding, while the province will commit $260,000 in rent supplement funding. BPM Project Developments Limited will provide 22 per cent of the total development cost. To date, almost $22 million has been announced by the government of Canada, and the province of Nova Scotia and its partners for the construction or renovation of more than 500 units in the province. A total of $56.18 million will be available under the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement. Information on the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement is available at local housing services offices or on the Department of Community Services website at www.gov.ns.ca/coms.