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Released May 27, 2003

Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador sign $30 Million Affordable Housing Agreement

The Honourable Steven Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), the Honourable Oliver Langdon, Newfoundland and Labrador's Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and Minister Responsible for Housing, and the Honourable Tom Lush, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, announced today the signing of a $30.28 million Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Agreement. This will create approximately 600 affordable housing units in the province over the next four years.

"More residents of Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to access affordable housing thanks to this agreement", said Secretary of State Mahoney. "I look forward to seeing the first projects come to fruition now that we have completed this important step."

"This is good news for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and will generate economic benefits in addition to meeting housing needs", noted Minister Byrne.

Minister Langdon commented, "Today's agreement is indeed a positive step for the development and enhancement of supportive housing needs and affordable rental housing in Newfoundland and Labrador. It also represents a significant investment in the lives of many people and will contribute to their health and independence."

Tom Lush, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador welcomed the signing of the Affordable Housing Agreement and said, "This agreement is an excellent example of government partnership in action to meet specific public policy objectives."

Funding under this agreement will be used for two provincially designed programs. One will stimulate the production of new affordable rental housing and the rehabilitation of severely deteriorated existing rental housing for low- to moderate-income households. The other will assist new affordable homeownership housing, and the rehabilitation of severely deteriorated affordable housing for ownership by low- to moderate-income households in Labrador.

Stimulating the creation of more affordable housing was part of the Government of Canada's Speech from the Throne, in January 2001 and the $680 million in federal funding was confirmed in the December 2001 federal budget. The 2003 federal budget added an additional $320 million bringing the total investment in affordable housing to $1 billion in total by the end of 2007-08.

Individuals and organizations may obtain additional information about the Affordable Housing Initiative by contacting the Programs Division of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing at: (709) 724-3123.

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For further information, contact:

Jenny Bowring
NLHC
(709) 724-3055
E-mail:  releases@nlhc.nf.ca