Released August 21, 2008

Social Housing Renovations Completed in Downtown St. John’s

Exterior renovations on four Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing) residences in the Livingstone/Lime Street area of downtown St. John’s are now complete. G.S. Hunt of Bell Island was awarded the $118,000 contract to carry out the project. Work began on the project in the spring, and has recently concluded. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister Responsible for Housing and Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and Tom Osborne, MHA, St. John’s South, made the announcement today.

“Major exterior property enhancements have been completed on social housing dwellings in the downtown area,” said Minister Skinner. “Housing is the province’s largest landlord, and keeping more than 5,500 properties up to standard over the years has indeed been a challenge. However, they have maintained a focus on providing safe and healthy housing for their tenants, and with our government’s continued financial commitment, I’m confident they will ensure our social housing portfolio is improved and maintained for future generations.”

The renovations included complete roofing and siding replacement, installation of new doors and windows, as well as upgraded ventilation systems such as bathroom exhaust fans, kitchen range hoods, as well as, wall and heater thermostats, which will help to ensure healthy air quality for tenants. These current upgrades and repairs are part of Housing’s annual Modernization and Improvement Program, which includes regular assessments and prioritization of its housing portfolio repair needs.

“It’s great to see this work being undertaken,” said Mr. Osborne. “The tenants are very pleased that the renovations included new siding, windows and doors. The improvements give the neighbourhood a refreshing new look and help build a positive community spirit.”

Housing has 2,783 dwellings in the St. John’s metro area alone, which houses a population of close to 7,000 people. During 2007-08 fiscal year, Housing spent $10 million to complete extensive exterior work on more than 500 dwellings throughout the province, and another $10 million will be spent in 2008-09. These renovations are the result of a significant $27.5-million funding increase, over five years, which the Provincial Government announced for its social housing properties last year. With these funds, the necessary renovations can be carried out through Housing’s annual Modernization and Improvement Program. This program is a long-term preventative maintenance plan whereby each year the modernization and improvement needs of all social housing buildings are assessed and prioritized.

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Media contacts:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing