Amherst council taking steps to address housing shortage, affordable housing


The Town of Amherst is moving forward with a number of initiatives to address a housing shortage and affordable housing.

Council has approved transferring a town-owned property at 8/10 Prince Arthur Street to the Cumberland Homelessness and Housing Support Association.

The property was purchased for $26,000 last year through a tax sale with the intent of making it available for affordable or supportive housing.

A release from the town says the association will renovate the building to contain affordable supervised apartments, a resource room, kitchen, and support space for administration and support services once it takes over ownership of the structure.

A public hearing is scheduled for February 8th at Amherst town hall, due to provincial regulations, before the town-owned property can be transferred to a non-profit organization for less than market value.

The town has also announced a draft purchase and sale agreement that would see Halifax-based Black Bay Real Estate Group build two, 64-unit, apartment buildings and 10 three-bedroom townhouses on a four acre property located off South Albion Street near Frank and Gino’s restaurant.

The completed purchase and sale agreement for the town-owned property will be brought back to council for final approval.

Council has also approved a Housing Infrastructure Investment Policy they hope will incentivise new housing development.