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Released August 11, 2009



Building Secure Foundations: A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

A new long-term vision for social housing was announced today at the Buckmaster’s Circle Community Centre in St. John’s. The Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing, today released A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations. The minister was joined by the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Justice; Len Simms, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing; and representatives of community-based organizations.

"Today our government presents the first long-term, progressive, social housing plan for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Taylor. "We present this plan as a secure foundation, in support of our Poverty Reduction Strategy, to improve the housing circumstances of lower-income households and help create healthier communities. This

plan builds on the housing initiatives and investments made in recent years, as the Williams Government continues its commitment to sustainable, affordable housing in our province."

Valuable input into the development of the plan was achieved through province-wide consultations to develop a social housing vision and policy that was efficient, effective, affordable and in the best public interest. This plan is built on a vision where all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have access to secure and affordable housing, with goals of: increased emphasis on individual well-being and strengthened communities; strengthened partnerships and management practices; and improved housing assistance. The development of this plan and its implementation is lead by a ministerial committee chaired by Minister Taylor, with representation and input from the Ministers of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Health and Community Services, and Justice.

This social housing plan is in keeping with the Provincial Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Provincial Healthy Aging Policy Framework; Long-Term Care and Community Support Services; the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador; and the Provincial Policy Framework for Mental Health and Addictions Services.

In Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation, the Provincial Government committed $23.6 million for housing investments throughout the province for items such as social housing renovations and energy retrofits, social housing units for low-income seniors and a Provincial Homelessness Fund to help non-profit community groups provide wrap-around services vital to supporting complex needs clients. Additionally, the Provincial Government recently announced a $50 million investment towards $93 million in funding cost-shared with the Federal Government to build new affordable housing and renovate existing social housing units throughout the province over the next two years.

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Media contacts:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577
davidsalter@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland Labrador Housing
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Elements of the Social Housing Plan

Vision:

A vision of a province where Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have access to secure and affordable housing.

Strategic Directions:

Working with partners so that housing assistance is part of an integrated approach to well-being and community building;

  • Allocating resources to assist those with the greatest housing need; and,
  • Providing housing assistance that is responsive to client needs.
  • Goals and Objectives:

    Goal 1: Increased emphasis on individual well-being and strengthened communities

  • Greater integration of housing and support services to promote self-reliance and community participation
  • Increased supply of accessible housing
  • Foster initiatives that support personal development and community participation
  • Goal 2: Strengthened partnerships and management practices

  • Enhanced communication within government on housing need and market trends, policy issues, strategic priorities and outcomes
  • Enhanced government partner co-ordinations and integration of programs and services
  • Enhanced capacity of Aboriginal groups and community partners to deliver housing services
  • Enhanced management of assets and service to clients and delivery partners
  • Goal 3: Improved housing assistance

  • Increase rental options for lower-income households
  • Increased assistance for repair of privately owned stock
  • Increased housing assistance for Off-Reserve Aboriginal households
  • Improve quality of NL Housing homes
  • Promote energy efficiency and conservation for lower-income households
  • Continue government home heating rebate for lower-income households