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Rebate spurs home work 

ABOUT 1,500 Nova Scotia families will save up to $7,000 on the purchase of a newly constructed home thanks to the province’s New Home Construction Rebate program.

The rebate program also tossed a lifeline to a hobbled home construction industry during the worst of the recession and helped keep skilled workers in this province, said Andrew Holley, president of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association, in an interview Tuesday.

"It’s wonderful that some people will get a tax rebate that helps lower the cost of their new home," Mr. Holley said. "It is just as important (that the) many workers required to keep the industry viable were able to stay in this province and continue to get work during this very difficult time."

Mr. Holley estimated that half of the 1,500 homes built were the direct result of the program, while the other half were in the planning stages but had their construction moved ahead to take advantage of the rebate.
"When the home rebate was introduced in August the home-building industry was totally flat. There was hardly anything happening," said the president.

He said it is difficult to over- estimate the significance of providing such a "significant catalyst" to an industry that provides livelihoods for about 10,000 people and constructs about 4,500 dwelling per year.
"As result of the rebate, we have the required skilled workers on hand today as the industry revitalizes itself after the recession," he said.

The government said it is continuing to accept applications for the rebate until March 31, just in case any of the 1,500 registered applicants withdraw their application or fail to meet the requirements of the program. If this happens the rebate will be given to the next applicant on a waiting list.

The rebate is 50 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST, to a maximum of $7,000.

It applies to home constructed by the owners, homes purchased from a contractor and manufactured homes on a leased property.

By BILL POWER Business Reporter

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