Mary Lou Keith wanted to stay in rural Shelburne, but there was no affordable seniors’ housing available in her small community in Nova Scotia. Thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers and a non-profit housing organization, Mary Lou now lives at Harbourside Landing, a 40-unit apartment building that meets the housing needs of local seniors. The building, which opened in March 2014, is owned by Atlantic Baptist Housing, a not-for-profit charitable corporation that builds affordable seniors’ housing in small communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

“I thought it’s such a shame that these people who care so much about their community actually have to leave,” said Joan Bower of the Seniors Independent Housing Initiative in Shelburne. Her local committee worked with Atlantic Baptist Housing to create an alternative housing solution for Shelburne.

“We develop seniors’ housing in less densely populated areas, in response to the community needs identified by our 450 member churches,” explained Gerald Ingersoll, Executive Director of Atlantic Baptist Housing. This allows residents to age in place and stay in their communities.

“We work closely with our local committees to move the projects forward, develop partnerships with the municipality and obtain funding to reduce operational costs and keep the housing affordable. Once we established that there was a strong need for affordable housing here, we applied to CMHC for Seed Funding to help us begin the project.”

“Atlantic Baptist Housing used Seed Funding to engage an architect for preliminary designs and construction plans,” explained Charlie Aucoin of CMHC. “This was important to maximize land use, which in turn improved affordability.”

Given the size of the project and the shortage of local skilled trades, Atlantic Baptist Housing turned to manufactured housing as a viable option. Fredericton-based Maple Leaf Construction manufactured the components in its factory and trucked them to the site once the foundation was poured. Local trades helped complete interior and exterior finishes. Ingersoll estimated that this method significantly reduced construction time.

“Within six months of starting, we had people living there,” he explained. “That allowed us to begin to get revenue a little sooner as well.”

Mary Lou is grateful to have found affordable housing in Shelburne. “I’m so happy to be here, and I love this apartment and I like all the people in the building,” she said.

Transcript

Shelburne is located on the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia, so it’s right on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s very rural: there’s about 1800 people in the town.

Visual: Title: Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Scenic shots of Shelburne, NS – boats on ocean/cars on street

While there was some housing for low income people there was nothing for seniors, and I thought it’s such a shame that these people who c are so much about their community actually have to leave.

Visual: Scenic shots of Shelburne, NS – neighborhoods /community/ waterfront

I started looking for alternative solutions and sorted out that Atlantic Baptist Housing might be interested in coming, so I called them and asked them and they said, “well you prove a need, and we’ll come”. And they did.

Visual: Woman speaking on-screen; Joan Bower, Seniors Independent Housing Initiative – interior bedroom

Atlantic Baptist Housing is a not–for-profit charitable corporation; it was founded in 1970 to provide seniors housing solutions in Atlantic Canada.

Visual: Man speaking on-screen; Gerald Ingersoll, Atlantic Baptist Housing – interior office, transitioning to Atlantic Baptist Housing webpage

We respond to invitations by our local Baptist churches. We have churches in 450 communities in Atlantic Canada

Visual: Man speaking on-screen, Gerald Ingersoll, Atlantic Baptist Housing – interior office

We developed here in Shelburne Harbourside Landing. It’s a 40-unit apartment building. Two of those are fully accessible and they’re well built, and make a nice place to live.

Visual: Exterior shot of Shelburne Harbourside Landing, transition to apartment interiors – living room, child’s bedroom

After we had established that there was a strong need for affordable seniors housing here…

Visual: Interior of living room; elderly woman knitting on a couch, transitioning to close-up of senior knitting.

…we applied to CMHC for Seed Funding to help us begin the project.

Visual: Gerald Ingersoll speaking on-screen – interior office

They used Seed Funding to engage an architect to develop preliminary designs and construction plans.

Visual: Man speaking on-screen Charlie Aucoin, CMHC; interior hallway

This was important to maximize land use, which in turn improved affordability.

Visual: Exterior of Harbourside Landing building. Charlie Aucoin and Gerald Ingersoll walking the grounds.

We went with Maple Leaf Homes, who built the manufactured units in Fredericton-transported them down. They took care of the design, the build, and all of those features, which cut some of the costs out as well.

Visual: Photo montage of Maple Leaf Homes construction and workers

Within six months of starting, we had people living here. And that allowed us to begin to get revenue a little sooner as well.

Visual: Interior kitchen, living room, dining room

At the same time that we were founded, the organization formed the Atlantic Baptist Foundation. They work with us to provide mortgages for buildings. They also provide working capital when we start new projects; which allows us to start faster with lower costs on the front end.

Visual: Gerald Ingersoll speaking on-screen – interior office

So we work with the local communities, with banks, and with our foundation to bring the best affordable housing possible.

Visual: Charlie Aucoin and Gerald Ingersoll walking in hallway, pushing woman in wheelchair.

I think that CMHC provided Atlantic Baptist Housing and the local build committee in Shelburne, a different way of looking at affordable housing. That a project doesn’t require a lot of government subsidy to be considered affordable.

Visual: Man speaking on-screen Charlie Aucoin, CMHC; interior hallway

By building our properties in mostly rural areas, we let people continue to live in the communities they’ve lived in their whole lives.

Visual: Community shots of cars on streets, boats on water

I wanted to stay in Shelburne but there was nothing available.

Visual: Elderly woman playing piano in living room

I’m so happy to be here, and I love this apartment, and I like all the people in the building.

Visual: Elderly woman, Mary Lou Keith, resident, speaking on-screen. Transition to Mary Lou Keith cutting bread in kitchen.

Habourside Landing has given people hope, yes. Hope that they can stay in their communities, hope that they can live in a place where their needs are met. It gives them safe, affordable housing.

Visual: Joan Bower on-screen, Seniors Independent Housing Initiative – interior bedroom, transition to exterior of building.


Visual: End video with CMHC logo and Canada wordmark

Date Published: March 31, 2018