A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Town of Amherst and residential developers Tony Aalders and Holly Casey of Momentum Property Developments, for the construction of a new housing subdivision located along and adjacent to Russell Street in the town.
The new subdivision will be developed in four phases, with each phase containing between eight and fifteen dwellings.
Pictured left to right: Mayor David Kogon signs the MOU with Holly Casey and Tony Aalders, of Momentum Property Developments.
“Housing is a strategic priority for staff and Council here in Amherst, and we’ve created a Housing Infrastructure Investment Policy that allows for a developer to enter into a financing agreement with the Town to cover the costs of local infrastructure for new neighbourhoods,” said Jason MacDonald, CAO for the Town of Amherst. “Each phase of a development is eligible for up to $250,000 worth of street, water, and sewer infrastructure, which will be paid back to the Town by the developer in quarterly installments over five years.”
Mayor David Kogon added, “We are very pleased to be able to finance a portion of this infrastructure utilizing some of the Sustainable Communities Growth Fund provided to the Town by the Province of Nova Scotia in 2023”.
Such an innovative approach to residential development required amendments to the Local Improvement Bylaw D-02; this agreement for the Russell Street development and all charges and payments will be processed through said Bylaw.
“We are very pleased to have formalized our agreement with the signing of this MOU,” said Tony Aalders, of Momentum Property Developments. “The assistance and ease of working with the Town of Amherst under their unique program to help with this development, will make all aspects of this project easier in bringing new homes to the area. It will also aid in one of our main objectives being keeping the houses as affordable as possible, given the current situation around the high costs of housing.”
Map of the Russell Street Development
Details within the MOU outline a number of general responsibilities of the Town and the Developer, including installation of water and sewer infrastructure, and terms for repayment; considerations for termination of the agreement; and, succession requirements, should the property be sold before the completion of all phases.
The new Russell Street subdivision will play an important role in the development of new housing units in Amherst. This is one of several new residential development projects in the works that will see homes constructed to serve needs across the housing spectrum – from affordable rental units to single family semi-detached and detached starter homes, all the way up to executive housing options.
“The Province of Nova Scotia is pleased to see the Town of Amherst and Momentum Property Developments cooperating on this development, which will help address the housing need in the local area,” said Cumberland South MLA Tory Rushton. “This is the type of outcome envisioned when the Province developed the Sustainable Communities Growth Fund – new housing opportunities for hard-working Nova Scotian families.”
Construction on Phase One of the Russell Street development is set to begin in the spring of this year.