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PHOTOS: What do North Preston residents think of N.S. housing support?

Black Nova Scotians weigh in on $3.5 million community funding

3 min read
Four people sit at the front of a crowd, their heads looking forward at an off-camera speaker.
caption Community members looked on as provincial MLAs announce housing support for Preston area communities on January 30.
Mathieu Hebert

The province announced $3.5 million for the Preston Area Housing Fund on Monday.

Unveiled at the North Preston Community Centre the plan seeks to transfer ownership of up to 50 provincially-owned housing units to the Preston Area Housing Fund with funding to maintain and repair the homes. Plans for long-term housing include Cherry Brook-Lake Loon, North Preston, East Preston and Westphal communities.

Residents responded with applause and cheers of agreement, but while the general sentiment was positive, many said there’s still much to be done.

The Signal attended the announcement on Jan. 30, asking community members what they think of the state of housing in North Preston.

A woman wearing a large black jacket stands and faces forwards.
caption Coretta Downey attended the announcement at the North Preston Community Centre on Monday.

“I hope the city understands that we’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and we just want the same thing everyone else has,” said Coretta Downey.

“Some people need new roofs, new steps, things for their yards … it’ll be good to have this go into motion and make things look better.”

caption Maisie Simmonds holds Janai Simmonds after the announcement at the North Preston Community Centre on Monday.

“We live in Preston-area housing, and there has not been any people supporting, so the support’s there now,” said Maisie Simmonds.

“We’ve lived here for 40 years. We’ve been trying to own the homes and now, hopefully, we will.”

An elderly man wearing a black jacket and grey shirt poses for a photo.
caption Ernest Simmonds smiles, happy about the announcement at the North Preston Community Centre on Monday.

“This was well overdue,” said Ernest Simmonds. “I’m at the age of 72 right now – in my days, we came up in little shacks. So I hope in the future that all the (Preston) communities will progress in housing.”

A short-haired man wearing a plaid shirt and black jacket leans on a railing for a photo.
caption Anthony Riley poses outside the North Preston Community Centre after the announcement.

“It’s a great starting point,” said Anthony Riley. “People will feel better living in those places … once we have the buildings established enough that we’re not making repairs all the time; because then you have something that’s lasting.”

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