Media Release

April 9, 2013

Sound Investments in Housing Continue to Benefit Individuals and Families

Through Budget 2013: A Sound Plan, A Secure Future, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) continues to invest in vital housing initiatives.

“Since 2003, our government has invested over $100 million in social housing to enable NLHC to modernize and improve 70 per cent of our current social housing dwellings, up from 30 per cent, ensuring more suitable and easier to maintain accommodations for our tenants,” said the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “During that same time, through the Provincial Home Repair Program, a further $78 million has been provided to private homeowners to support vital home repairs benefiting 21,000 households, while reducing the waitlist from over 4,300 to less than 1,000 over the past six years.”

The total NLHC budget for 2013-14 is $118.7 million and funding is being maintained at current levels in key program areas to continue supports for the most vulnerable in our society. While the Provincial Government grant is being reduced by $9.3 million, from $56.1 million to $46.8 million, core programs such as the Supportive Living Program, the Home Modification Program and the Provincial Homelessness Fund continue. No programs are being eliminated. The Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP), the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP), as well as modernization and improvements to NLHC’s portfolio will be sustained at a lower level of investment this year.

“As a result of the commitments made by our government over the past 10 years, NLHC is well positioned to reduce costs, maintain key programs and continue to advance needed work in other areas,” said Minister Davis. “ We have to balance our fiscal priorities to ensure a sustainable future; the reduction to the housing budget has been carefully considered to minimize the overall impact for tenants and residents seeking improvements to their homes, while not impacting core programs and services for those most in need.”

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Media contacts:

Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-5668
edmoriarity@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing
Corporation
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Investments in Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

The overall NLHC budget for 2013-14 is $118.7 million, including $46.8 million from the Provincial Government, $51.9 million from the Federal Government and $20 million in rental revenue.

Funding is being maintained at current levels for programs in the following areas:

  • $4.8 million for the Supportive Living Program to provide grants to 20 non-profit community partners in the province who offer housing and related supports to persons with complex needs;
  • $3 million for the Home Modification Program to enable persons with disabilities and seniors to remain safely in their own homes; and,
  • $1 million for the Provincial Homelessness Fund for programs offered by community partners who work with homeless and at-risk populations, including youth.

No NLHC program area is being eliminated. Funding adjustments are being made to the following programs. Budget 2013 includes:

  • $29 million for rental housing operations (such as modernization and improvement); a reduction of $3 million from 2012-13. Since 2003, the modernization and improvement budget has tripled. This year’s budget will still meet ongoing renovation requirements because of the significant improvements to NLHC’s portfolio over the past 10 years which has improved energy efficiency and seen a reduction in maintenance calls by 25 per cent.
  • $10 million for the Provincial Home Repair Program. In 2007, a six-year commitment to increase spending for this program until 2012-13 was made to reduce the waitlist. The waitlist has been successfully reduced from 4,300 to 989 and the six year commitment has ended. This year, the Provincial Government’s previously increased investment will be reduced by $2 million.
  • $2 million for Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP). Funding this year will support improvements for 500 households. Further savings of $300,000 will be found in the REEP program by no longer contracting out inspection services for the program, instead these inspections will be carried out by the current staff complement at NLHC.
  • $9.6 million for community partner-managed housing groups, a reduction of $600,000 from 2012-13. Since 2009, because $15 million has been spent to renovate the properties for most of our 61 community-based non-profit housing partners. This year’s budget will continue to meet the needs of these groups.
  • Additional savings this year include $600,000 in reduced travel, telephone and cellular services, office supplies, and introducing the use of video conferencing for meetings.