Media Release

March 16, 2012

Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Partner to
Develop New Affordable Supportive Housing 

The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador today announced a combined investment of more than $5.8 million to create new affordable and supportive housing in collaboration with non-profit groups. This investment will help fund the development of 39 new units for persons requiring supportive living accommodations, and another eight new homes for families with low incomes through Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Our government is proud to be investing in these new developments,” said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador in need of affordable and supportive housing will soon have a place they can call home, and this is vital to creating a healthy community.”

More than $16 million in funding has been made available for new affordable housing projects as part of the $41 million Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-14, announced last August.

“The Provincial Government is proud to support these non-profit organizations, and coupled with an $8.5 million investment in private sector projects announced yesterday, these partnerships will help create affordable housing in our communities,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “Responding to affordable supportive housing needs is a priority, and we look forward to building on the momentum we have developed in recent years.”

These new homes are being developed by eight non-profit supportive living community partners and will house people with low to moderate incomes, including families, single individuals, youth who require supports, and seniors who require assisted-living.

An affordable housing proposal call made in 2011 has provided 36 private and non-profit community partners the opportunity to create 254 new affordable housing units throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, including 71 fully-accessible dwellings. By 2014, approximately 1,100 new affordable housing units will have been developed under this combined federal and provincial investment.

Nationally, Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the way with respect to accessibility by being the first province to require the use of Universal Design standards for all projects approved under the recent affordable housing proposal call. Features of Universal Design include but are not limited to step-free entrances, open floor plans, wider doorways and halls, slip-resistant floors, lever door handles, grab bars in bathrooms, and rocker light switches versus toggle. Universal Design is now a mandatory requirement on all affordable housing projects funded in the province. This is in addition to having one unit in each project that will be fully accessible. The goal is to make access more convenient to as many people, at as many stages of life as possible.

A key objective for the Provincial Government is to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing by the private, public and non-profit sectors. A priority is placed on developing rental housing for persons with disabilities, seniors, and those who require supports to live independently in the community. This work is also in keeping with A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - Secure Foundations, released by the Provincial Government in August 2009, which outlines a long-term vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of people with low incomes and helping create healthier communities.

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 615,000 households living in existing social housing. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this represents some 12,500 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for Canadians with low incomes and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, and Aboriginal people.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca 

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
729-3015, 699-0470
jasoncard@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca
 
Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Marketing & Communications
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-6581
krleblan@cmhc.ca
Alyson Queen
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482


BACKGROUNDER
Affordable Non-Profit Supportive Housing Projects
Funded through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement for
Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-14

Proponent Location Total Matched Federal/Provincial Funding Number of Units
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, St. Theresa’s Parish St. John’s $500,000 4
Iris Kirby House Inc.  St. John’s $500,000 4
Choices for Youth St. John’s $750,000 6
Anglican Homes Inc. St. John’s $625,000 5
Grace Sparkes Inc. Marystown $750,000 6
Labrador West Housing and Homelessness Coalition Labrador City $1,500,000 10
Robert’s Arm Interfaith Robert’s Arm $500,000 4
Habitat for Humanity NL Labrador West $360,000 4
Habitat for Humanity NL
 
St. John’s $340,000 4
Total   $5,825,000 47