Moncton apartments among first new public housing units to be built in nearly 40 years

Minister of Social Development Jill Green says tenants for new public housing units will be chosen from 10,000 names on the N.B. Housing waiting list and a by-names list that includes people who are homeless. (Katelin Belliveau/CBC - image credit)
Minister of Social Development Jill Green says tenants for new public housing units will be chosen from 10,000 names on the N.B. Housing waiting list and a by-names list that includes people who are homeless. (Katelin Belliveau/CBC - image credit)

A new building with a mix of bachelor and one-bedroom apartments in a neighbourhood off Elmwood Drive in Moncton will soon welcome tenants.

The eight units are among the first new public housing units built in nearly 40 years and will  support services to those who move.

Jill Green, the minister of social development and responsible for housing, made the announcement at the MacAleese Lane two-storey apartment building on Friday.

"We've seen a huge amount of in-migration since COVID, and there's been a huge pressure put on the housing situation here in New Brunswick," she said. "So every housing unit we build is needed ."

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The project is a partnership between New Brunswick Housing Corporation and the Moncton non-profit, Rising Tide Community Initiatives.

Dale Hicks, president of Rising Tide, said the eight apartments are part of an agreement with the province to build 40 affordable and supportive housing units.

"When you do housing you impact obviously homelessness, and you also impact health," Hicks said. "When you do affordable housing with supportive services you're taking people off the street, you're taking people out of the shelters."

Dale Hicks, President of Rising Tide, said building affordable housing also addresses health issues beyond homelessness.
Dale Hicks, President of Rising Tide, said building affordable housing also addresses health issues beyond homelessness.

Dale Hicks, president of Rising Tide, says building affordable housing also addresses health issues beyond homelessness. (Katelin Belliveau/CBC)

Green said the tenants for the new building will be chosen from more than 10,000 names on the N.B Housing waiting list and the by-names list, which includes people who are now homeless.

George Cormier, managing director of Rising Tide, said he estimates the province would need between 3,000 and 5,000 affordable housing units to accommodate those in need in the Moncton region alone.

When asked about the rising cost of rent in New Brunswick, Green said her department is reviewing the housing strategy released about a year ago.

"We are looking...to see wether the measures had the impact we needed them to have and whether changes need to be made."

Some public housing units at the MacAleese Lane location in Moncton are barrier free and all have access to laundry machines.
Some public housing units at the MacAleese Lane location in Moncton are barrier free and all have access to laundry machines.

Some public housing units at the MacAleese Lane location are barrier-free, and all have access to laundry machines. (Katelin Belliveau/CBC)

Green said the new units will include wraparound services, funded by Social Development, with supports ranging from mental health and addiction to financial planning.

"The things that the tenants need, we work closely with them and provide that for them to help them learn new skills for life in the future," she said.

Some of the new apartments are barrier-free, and all have access to laundry machines.

Green said the units are part of the $100 million housing strategy, which aims to build 380 new public housing units by 2027.