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All N.S. homes should be accessible: study

The Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance has released a study recommending all homes in the province be accessible for an aging population.

Donald Shiner lead the six-year study recommending all homes in the province be accessible.

Shiner, a business professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, said the current building codes should be changed to accommodate seniors or those with disabilities.

Shiner said people should think ahead about what they can do to prepare for their own senior years.

"Our housing stock has been built as if we were Peter Pan, you know, it's been built as if we'll never grow old or never get sick," said Shiner.

"If you build ... wider doorways, one wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the ground floor, one room on the ground floor that can be used as a bedroom if you do those things as you build the home, you're way ahead of the game."

According to the study, the senior population in the Maritimes is the highest in the country, and is projected to increase 86.3 per cent between 2007 and 2033.

"It was a six-year study which included detailed surveys of seniors and their needs, their expectations, how they lived — it gave us a lot of insight into seniors in Atlantic Canada and their homes and the problems they face," said Shiner.

Ten years ago, Shiner's elderly in-laws moved into his home.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to sit down with them and talk to them about putting an extension on our home."

Paul Pettipas, chief executive officer of the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association, agrees homeowners have to think about their future.

"People have got to realize that even if they're a little younger, things could change for them, and it's not only aging, it could be an accident, or it could be an older member of your family coming to live with you."

Shiner said he spoke to federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for seniors last month about the study.

He also said he'd like to see a government rebate — much like environmental upgrades to homes — but to make homes accessible.

Shiner hopes his group's recommendations will get people thinking about housing for seniors.


Stanley Cup Champion helps raise money for Home Builders Care program

On Sunday August 7th, the Dartmouth North Boys and Girls Club celebrated a victory at Boston Pizza, Bayers Lake with a little help from the Home Builders Care Program and Stanley Cup winner Brad Marchand.

Sunday Funday was an auction held to raise funds to install a roof on the Boys and Girls Club of Dartmouth facility located on Farrell Street. Several auction items were donated by the young hockey star including; signed pictures, a signed stick used in a Stanley Cup final game, socks worn in a World Junior Hockey Championship and a signed Boston Bruins jersey.

 “The Homebuilders Care program helps local not-for-profit organizations that are doing great things but facing challenges with their facilities. Helping with the facilities is where our expertise and resources come into play,” stated Paul Pettipas, CEO, Nova Scotia Home Builders Association.

Brad Marchand was in attendance to show his support for the cause and give a signed Boston Bruins hat to Dawson Kelly, a seven year old member of the club.

The event was a coordinated as a joint effort between the Homebuilders Care program and a Public Relations class from Mount Saint Vincent University.

“It’s great to see that the students contributing to the community around them at such an early stage in their career,” said Paul, “They really did an excellent job with this event.”

The events promotions were so successful they even caught the attention of Nova Scotia Premier, Darrell Dexter who gladly joined in on the bidding.

A press conference was held prior to the auction in which representatives from Homebuilders Care, the Boys and Girls Club of and Brad Marchand addressed local media. As a result the event was featured on the front page of the Chronicle Herald, on Global television, CTV,CBC, and MSN news.

Overall the event was a great success raising more than $3000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Dartmouth’s new roof.

Brad Marchand posing with members of the Home Builders Care program.

Brad and Paul getting into the spirit of the event with some cool costumes.

Brad Marchand and Premier Darrell Dexter

The Brachvogel boys having fun with Balloon Pro Joelle!

Auction Items Donated by Stanley Cup champion, Brad Marchand

Peter Briand of Econo Renovations as Auctioneer along with members of the MSVU PR Team.

For more media coverage on this event, view the below links:

The Chronicle Herald
MSN News
CBC News


Celebrating the Success of the Home Renovation Tax Credit

Celebrating the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC): From left to right: Gordon Kennedy (Vice-President Atlantic Area, RONA), Minister of National Revenue Keith Ashfield, Jim Aucoin (Store Manager, Rona Halifax), and Paul Pettipas (Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association).

To read the press release, visit:


Pinning hopes on green homes

HOME BUILDERS IN Nova Scotia hope a new generation of energy-efficient houses will help pull the industry out of a slump.

"The market has stalled, that is for sure, but for builders who can hang in there, the long-term outlook is good," Andrew Holley, president of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association, said in an interview Thursday.

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N.S. offers housewarming gift 

Energy-efficient homes qualify for rebates of $3,000 to $7,000

Bill Estabrooks, minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, leaves after taking a tour of an energy-efficient home at 85 Viridian Dr. in Dartmouth. Estabrooks announced a series of rebates for people who build or buy homes that meet new efficiency guidelines. (Eric Wynne / Staff)Buyers of new energy-efficient homes can qualify for thousands in new rebates from the province, giving consumers a chance to offset the Dexter government’s sales tax hike, says one builder.

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