FREDERICTON (New Brunswick): Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, and Bruce Fitch, New Brunswick Social Development Minister, have 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 centre 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 wraparound 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.
Ahmed Hussen said: “Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Today’s announcement is another step towards making this a reality. Through collaboration, we are able to deliver innovative and exciting projects like 12 Neighbours Inc. This is just one of the ways our National Housing Strategy continues to ensure that no one is left behind.”
Jenica Atwin said: “Housing is essential to one’s sense of dignity, safety, inclusion and ability to contribute to the fabric of our neighbourhoods and societies. Today’s announcement reaffirms just that by providing many New Brunswick families with a place to call home. The collaboration has shown between Ottawa, the province of New Brunswick and 12 Neighbours Inc. demonstrates a commitment to the belief that nothing is more important than a home. Together, we are doing our part to house Canadians.”
Bruce Fitch, New Brunswick Social Development Minister, said: “Partnerships with community organizations such as 12 Neighbours Inc. are an essential part of our commitment to address homelessness. The micro-home project is an extremely innovative way to provide a roof to people in need.”