Nova Scotia announces loan program for non-profit organizations to buy a home

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The Nova Scotia government launched a “loan program” that would allow non-profit organizations to purchase existing homes.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr announced Wednesday in Halifax that the Community Housing Acquisition Program (CHAP) will allow non-profit housing organizations to access $10 million in repayable loans.

The first loan has already been obtained for the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia.

Lohr said the organization was getting a low-interest $5.6 million mortgage to buy five rental properties.

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One of them was the property in which the announcement took place, an apartment building at 18 Crown Dr. near the Rotary Armdale. According to an online listing of the property, it has 84 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

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A tenant of 18 Crown Dr., Trisha Estrabrooks, said she was relieved to learn that the non-profit organization has taken possession of the building.

“Nova Scotians are concerned about rising rental costs, especially in Halifax, so I am grateful that my building is now owned by a group that is working to help address this issue,” Estabrooks said Wednesday in a statement.

In total, the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia will purchase 295 affordable housing units across the municipality.

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Minister Lohr said the province has learned that not-for-profit organizations face challenges when it comes to purchasing affordable housing.

“This new lending program will help preserve and increase the stock of affordable housing for individuals and families in need,” Lohr said in a statement Wednesday.

“We have seen rental properties being bought by investors and heard stories of increased rents beyond the reach of existing tenants.

“This program not only prevents gentrification and the loss of affordable housing, but also ensures that tenants can continue to live in their homes.”

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The loan program will provide up to 95% loan-to-value financing, according to the release, and 100% financing will be available for projects that receive operating funding from the Department of Community Services.

At fixed interest rates, financing is available for terms of up to 30 years, the province said.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said Wednesday’s announcement “demonstrates the art of the possible when we all work together to find solutions.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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