Released July 9, 2008
Housing Announces New $10 Million Interior Retrofit Program
As part of Budget 2008, Newfoundland Labrador Housing (Housing) has received a $10-million infusion of funds, over five years, for a new Interior Retrofit Program. The program will see interior renovations and retrofit of existing social housing residences throughout the province. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister Responsible for Housing, and Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, made the announcement today.
"These funds are continued evidence of this government’s commitment to improving the province’s overall building infrastructure," said Minister Skinner. "These refurbishments will provide greater comfort for tenants and make a positive difference in their everyday living environment. This funding also allows government to maintain its investment in Housing, ensuring existing infrastructure will have long-term value."
This is the first time in 40 years that a significant investment has been made to specifically address interior upgrades of the social housing portfolio. The maintenance of aging interior components in these houses has become expensive over time; however, over the next five years, this $10 million-program will provide $2 million annually to increase the resources available to modernize and improve the interior of these buildings. The initiative will also help reduce remedial maintenance costs and most importantly contribute to the health, safety and comfort of tenants.
During the 2007-08 fiscal year, Housing spent $10 million to complete extensive exterior work on more than 500 dwellings throughout the province. This is double the funds that had been available in previous years. These renovations were a result of the significant $27.5-million funding increase, over five years, which the Provincial Government provided for its social housing properties in Budget 2007 to address replacement of exterior building components such as windows, doors, siding and roofs. With these funds, the necessary renovations can be carried out through Housing’s annual Modernization and Improvement Program (M&I). The M&I 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.
"As landlords, we take our responsibility to maintain a quality standard for social housing very seriously," said Minister Skinner. "We recognize the challenges that Housing faces in maintaining its provincial housing portfolio throughout the province. This is why our government, in its last two provincial budgets, allocated significant resources to specifically address housing issues."
Newfoundland Labrador Housing is the province’s largest landlord, and is responsible for the management and maintenance of approximately 5,500 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide. Most of these houses are 25 – 50 years old and house an estimated 14,000 individuals.