The Department of Health and the Department of Community Services are teaming up to help low-income seniors stay in their homes longer, thanks to an additional $1 million in funding for home repairs announced today, Nov. 10. The Department of Health’s Continuing Care Strategy provided funding to the Department of Community Services for the Senior Citizens Assistance program. A total of $3.65 million is available for home repairs through the program. “The Continuing Care Strategy announced this spring aims to keep Nova Scotian seniors in their homes longer,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister of Health. “Funding from the strategy will be invested in home repairs through Community Services’ Senior Citizens Assistance Program, so we can ensure that those homes meet current health and safety standards.” The Senior Citizens Assistance Program provides funding for lower-income applicants over the age of 65 who want to remain in their own homes, but are not able to afford necessary repairs. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for repairs which ensure that health and safety standards are met. For example, this may include repairs to roofing, plumbing and heating. “We are pleased to work with our colleagues at the Department of Health to deliver on a shared goal — to ensure seniors are living in homes that are safe and secure,” said Judy Streatch, Minister of Community Services. “Nova Scotia has some of the highest rates of home ownership, and some of the oldest homes in the country. Investing more in housing repairs will help Nova Scotian seniors make the repairs necessary to remain in their homes longer.” To qualify for housing repair grants, total household income must be below set income thresholds. Eligible household income levels are determined by household size and the cost of shelter in the community. The Department of Community Services has 13 home repair programs that help low-income Nova Scotians make repairs that address health and safety issues, including two programs targeted for senior citizens. In 2005-06 a total of $13.7 million was provided through 13 home repair programs to help about 2,500 households. Information on home repair programs is available at local housing services offices or on the Department of Community Services website at www.gov.ns.ca/coms .
Speaking to journalists after his meetings with delegations from the Syrian Government and opposition, as well as representatives from Russia and the United States, the UN Special Envoy said that he would look to hold further intra-Syrian talks “sometime in June.” Mr. de Mistura underlined that the purpose of this short round of discussions was to address “constitutional and legal issues” which could provide a “strong, legal and constitutional basis” for any future negotiated political process.The mechanism for this was a series of high-level meetings in Geneva – which the Special Envoy explained were meant to complement the existing intra-Syrian talks. But only the Syrian people – and not the UN – would be in charge of writing their own constitution, he insisted: “We are not planning or aiming through this to draft a new constitution for Syria; this has to be done by the Syrians. We are rather trying, and we intend to pursue trying to lay the ground for the Syrians to do exactly that, in the context of an overall political solution that is in the context as you know, of [UN Security Council] resolution 2254 (2015).” As well as a new constitution for Syria, the UN-facilitated process remains focused on three other main issues: free and fair elections, combating terrorism and governance.