A fund that supports repairs & renovations of housing for low -income residents in Cape Breton

The Cape Breton Tompkins Affordable Housing Fund was established in 2018 by Cape Breton University’s Tompkins Institute. Named after Rev. Jimmy Tompkins (1870-1953), the legendary, inclusive Cape Breton community builder and social entrepreneur in the struggle against poverty, the Fund has been designed to help registered charities with targeted, project-based disbursements.

Project support is determined by the Cape Breton University Tompkins Institute in consultation with the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership – a network that brings together representatives of Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi Campus, Cape Breton University, the United Way of Cape Breton, Pathways to Employment, the Cape Breton Council of Seniors, and the New Aberdeen Revitalization Society.


This Fund supports repairs and renovations that help low-income residents in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality remain in their homes. The Fund also supports aging in place and essential renovations to ensure accessibility, safety, and warmth.

As of September 2021, the Tompkins Fund has allowed nine renovation projects to be completed. These have been designed to help low-income households, mostly seniors, with repairs and renovations to make their homes safe, accessible, and warm.

The Fund is currently supporting the Neighbourhood Handyperson Project, a pilot project in the New Aberdeen neighbourhood of Glace Bay. This is a rapid-response initiative to provide small repairs and renovations by competent tradespeople to assist residents to remain in their homes. The program is promoted in a neighbourhood newsletter, which is delivered to all homes in the area and published by Warden United Church, the CBU Tompkins Institute, and the New Aberdeen Revitalization Society.

The Neighbourhood Handyperson Program is overseen by the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership (AHRP), working with Warden United Church and the CBU Tompkins Institute.

For more information on the Fund, please contact Dr. Tom Urbaniak, Director, Tompkins Institute, Cape Breton University, at 902-563-1226; tom_urbaniak@cbu.ca.

Donate to this Fund

If you would like to donate to this fund, donations of up to $500 can be made below through the CanadaHelps donation form. 

For donations over $500, please contact the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia office at accounting@cfns-fcne.ca.