Released November 27, 2007

Blackmarsh Road Housing Properties Receive Major Renovations

Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing) tenants in St. John’s North will see long-awaited major exterior renovations completed on their homes. G.S. Hunt was awarded a contract for $338,000 to undertake this modernization and improvement project. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister Responsible for Housing and Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and Bob Ridgley, MHA, St. John’s North.

"Over the past 15 years, Newfoundland Labrador Housing has not received adequate funding to maintain the houses it operates throughout the province," said Minister Skinner. "As one of the province’s largest landlords, we have a financial obligation to protect our investment in these houses and a moral obligation to ensure our tenants have decent accommodations. This is why our government allocated significant resources this year to specifically address housing issues."

The project covers 10 houses on Blackmarsh Road and the renovation work includes exterior upgrades for items such as roof replacement and installation of new windows, doors and siding. Newfoundland Labrador Housing tenants can look forward to continued upgrading and renovation of their neighbourhoods over the next five years, from an infusion of funds that have been made available through Housing’s Modernization and Improvement Program. In the 2007-08 Budget, the Provincial Government announced a significant $27.5 million funding increase, over five years, to maintain and improve the Crown corporation’s aging and deteriorating houses. This funding will more than double the resources available to modernize and improve the current provincial social housing homes.

"The Blackmarsh Road project is one of several major renovations that Newfoundland Labrador Housing has undertaken in St. John's North," said Mr. Ridgley. "While much work remains to be done, these various projects clearly demonstrate that this administration considers social housing as a priority. I am also very pleased that investment in these properties will provide significant opportunities for the renovation and construction industry in the province."

The renovations began in late September and are anticipated to be completed by the end of December 2007. Newfoundland Labrador Housing is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,700 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide. The majority of these houses are 25 – 50 years old and house an estimated 14,000 individuals.

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Media contacts:

Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing