The Honourable Dr. Cathy Rogers, New Brunswick’s Minister of Social Development, met with the executive committee of the New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association (NBNPHA) on Wednesday November 19th in Fredericton. Dr. Rogers was elected to the New Brunswick Legislature by the voters of Moncton South on September 22nd, and was sworn in as Minister of Social Development and Healthy & Inclusive Communities on October 7th. As a university professor, Minister Rogers studied poverty and how it connects with health, education, crime and the economy.
The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Minister Rogers to the work of the NBNPHA and to discuss mutual priorities in affordable housing. One mutual priority pertains to the expiry of federal operating dollars for over 10,000 units of public, non-profit and co-operative housing in New Brunswick, representing 76% of the province’s affordable housing portfolio. The loss of funding is expected to create viability challenges for an estimated 6,750 units of affordable housing.
NBNPHA President Raymond Gionet said the meeting was positive and optimistic. “The NBNPHA would like to thank Minister Rogers and her staff at Social Development for their continued partnership and support. We look forward to continuing our work together so that we can one day live in a province where everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
“With 29,565 New Brunswick households in core housing need, and 5,800 on the government’s waiting list for affordable housing, the preservation of existing housing stock in an important step in achieving that goal,” said Kit Hickey, the NBNPHA’s Vice President. “Given our strong partnership track record with the Government of New Brunswick, we have no doubt that we will be able to rise above this challenge by aspiring to build an efficient, sustainable and innovative system of affordable housing in New Brunswick.”
The NBNPHA presented an update on Forward Together, a sector transformation initiative that started in 2013 with support from the Government of New Brunswick. The initiative is designed to support and strengthen New Brunswick’s affordable housing sector as operating agreements expire. The initiative provides one-on-one support to members of the NBNPHA in order to assess viability and facilitate sustainability planning.
“We believe our initiative will help generate the information, resources and partnerships required to keep homes affordable and in a good state of repair,” said Tim Ross, Executive Director of the NBNPHA, who is also CHRA’s New Brunswick Director.
The NBNPHA presented initiatives in alignment with the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Housing for All Campaign, opening dialogue on keeping homes affordable with the affordability account, and keeping homes safe and healthy with the 3R Capital Renewal initiative.
“There is enormous potential to multiply our impact by investing in capital renewal, “said Gary Gould, the Association’s Secretary-Treasurer. “Repairs, renovations and retrofits to affordable housing would create jobs and training opportunities throughout the province while also ensuring our homes remain in solid condition for future generations.”
About the New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association
The New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association (NBNPHA) represents over 200 non-profit and co-operative housing providers in New Brunswick, who together provide over 6,000 units of affordable housing to individuals and families throughout New Brunswick who would otherwise be precariously housed or at risk of homelessness.
Photo caption: Pictured from left to right are Tim Ross, Executive Director, President Raymond Gionet, The Honourable Dr. Cathy Rogers, Vice President Kit Hickey, and Secretary-Treasurer Gary Gould.
Tim Ross, New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association