Shelburne is located on the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia, so it’s right on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s very rural there’s about 1800 people in the town. While there was some housing for low income people there was nothing for seniors, and I thought it’s such a shame that these people who care so much about their community actually have to leave. I started looking for alternative solutions and sorted out that Atlantic Baptist Housing might be interested in coming, so I called them and asked them and they said, well you prove a need,.
And we’ll come. And they did. Atlantic Baptist Housing is a notforprofit charitable corporation it was founded in 1970 to provide seniors housing solutions in Atlantic Canada. We respond to invitations by our local Baptist churches. We have churches in 450 communities in Atlantic Canada. We developed here in Shelburne Harbourside Landing. It’s a 40unit apartment building. Two of those are fully accessible and they’re well built, and make a nice place to live. After we had established that there was a strong need for affordable seniors housing here, we applied to CMHC.
For Seed Funding to help us begin the project. They used Seed Funding to engage an architect to develop preliminary designs and construction plans. This was important to maximize land use, which in turn improved affordability. We went with Maple Leaf Homes, who built the manufactured units in Fredericton transported them down. They took care of the design, the build, and all of those features, which cut some of the costs out as well. Within six months of starting, we had people living here. And that allowed us to begin to get revenue.
Affordable seniors housing solutions in Atlantic Canada
A little sooner as well. At the same time that we were founded, the organization formed the Atlantic Baptist Foundation. They work with us to provide mortgages for buildings. They also provide working capital when we start new projects which allows us to start faster with lower costs on the front end. So we work with the local communities, with banks, and with our foundation to bring the best affordable housing possible. I think that CMHC provided Atlantic Baptist Housing and the local build committee in Shelburne, a different way of looking at affordable housing.
That a project doesn’t require a lot of government subsidy to be considered affordable. By building our properties in mostly rural areas, we let people continue to live in the communities they’ve lived in their whole lives. I wanted to stay in Shelburne but there was nothing available. I’m so happy to be here, and I love this apartment, and I like all the people in the building. Habourside Landing has given people hope, yes. Hope that they can stay in their communities, hope that they can live in a place where their needs are met.