Media Releases

Major step forward taken towards establishing affordable housing, emergency shelter in Town of Amherst

A major step towards establishing affordable housing units and a permanent emergency transitional housing facility in the Town of Amherst was taken on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, when the Amherst town council unanimously approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the town and Cumberland Homelessness and Housing Support Association.

The memorandum will see the town fund the costs of an executive director for the association, a non-profit organization also known as Cornerstone, for a period of 12 months.

“While the provision of affordable housing and emergency transitional housing is clearly a province responsibility, the town feels that by engaging theCoun Landry B services of an executive director, Cornerstone will be able to develop the necessary plans, strategies and grant applications required to obtain funding from the Province of Nova Scotia and other organization for the establishment of these services within the town,” Coun. Leon Landry said.

“In addition, Cornerstone and the town feel an executive director will be able to build further capacity in our community, which will lead to even more such housing projects in the future.”

The memorandum makes it clear the town expects Cornerstone to secure the funding required to continue the executive director position beyond one year. It also allows the town to appoint a councillor to Cornerstone’s board of directors.

The executive director will plan, implement and manage the development of affordable housing units and emergency transitional housing in the town and will provide periodic updates to the Amherst town council.

The memorandum states Cornerstone will be responsible for actively working toward establishing a permanent transitional shelter and affordable housing units within the town, fundraising, including applying for grants, for both the capital and operating costs of the facilities, which will be owned and operated by Cornerstone.

The organization will assume all aspects of the construction, renovation and operation, including all liability, of any affordable housing unit or transitional shelters developed by Cornerstone.

The memorandum also leaves the door open for the inclusion of the Municipality of the County of Cumberland in the project.