The Antigonish Affordable Housing Society (AAHS) hosted tenants, community members, as well as local, provincial and federal politicians, on Saturday, October 20, to celebrate the official opening of Phase 2 of Riverside Estates, its multi-family complex on Hope Lane. Phase 2 includes 10 new affordable rental units—adding to the four units in Phase 1 which opened in March 2017—and a Community Room.

The development offers new, good quality, affordable homes to people living on low incomes. The 14 units are currently home to 25 people, ranging in age from 4-74. Five residents are children, six are living with disabilities; three homes are led by female single parents.

In addition to offering tours of several units, the AAHS Board of Directors focused the spotlight on the new Community Room, which was made possible in large part by the Aviva Community Fund, awarded to AAHS last year, thanks to the thousands of votes it received from supporters during the online competition.

“It is easy to see why the Community Room is one of the main pillars of the Society’s vision of affordable, sustainable, community supported housing,” Tena Poirier, Business Development Manager, Atlantic, at Aviva Canada said. “It offers space for tenants to meet, an office for the Community Navigator, and a place where relationships can be built among the tenants and with the broader community. These community values are what the Aviva Community Fund stands for and we’re honoured to see this come to life.”

Board Chairperson, Colleen Cameron, said, “This is such a wonderful day for our community. Our Society is about more than just building a structure for people to live in. We are building homes enabling people who live on low incomes and/or with disabilities to participate in shaping their own futures, and to feel pride in their homes and in the community they have created around them.”

Next steps for the AAHS include continuing its Housing for Hope capital campaign to raise funds to eliminate debt and allow the Society to ensure Riverside Estates is sustainable. It is also exploring options to create additional affordable housing in the town and county in collaboration with other organizations.

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