Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Now, more than ever, the need for housing is crucial, and it has only increased due to the impact of COVID-19.
That’s why today, Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, and the Honourable Bruce Fitch, New Brunswick Social Development Minister, announced the first phase of a project to build micro-homes for those experiencing homelessness in Fredericton.
Located at 269 Two Nations Crossing in Fredericton, the 12 Neighbours community will consist of a series of fully independent and detached micro-homes on their own small private yard. The first phase of the project entails 36 micro-homes being arranged in neighbourhood blocks of 12. Each home will be 200 square feet and will have a covered front deck. The homes will have three-piece bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, sleeping spaces for one or two people, plus living and dining areas. The homes will also have storage lofts and cathedral ceilings.
The Government of Canada is contributing $1,440,000 in the form of a forgivable loan to the project through the Affordable Rental Housing Program. It will also provide rent supplements to each of the new housing units of this first phase to ensure that tenants do not pay more than 30 per cent of their total household income in rent. Funding for the project comes from the CMHC-New Brunswick Bilateral Agreement under the 2017 National Housing Strategy, through which $300M will be invested to ensure New Brunswick’s most vulnerable populations have safe, affordable housing options for years to come.
The micro-homes will be built in accordance with the province’s Green Building standards and will be connected to the city water and sewer system. The community will eventually include a social enterprise center with retail space and services. Further phases of the project have the goal of creating 96 micro-homes within the next two years.
12 Neighbours is the latest project to be added to the department’s efforts to deliver wrap-around support and housing subsidies that can provide people with permanent housing. Other recent projects receiving provincial funding include the Rising Tide project in Moncton and the John Howard Society housing project in Fredericton.
The Department of Social Development invests more than $5 million each year to address homelessness. Since 2019, thanks to multi-approach efforts by the department in partnership with community groups, more than 550 at-risk homeless people have accessed and maintained affordable housing across the province.