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Released May 22, 2009



Affordable Housing in Newfoundland and Labrador Gets a $93 Million Boost

The Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador are partnering on a joint investment to build new and renovate existing affordable housing. This investment will help create jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve the quality of life for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Both levels of government officially announced the signing of an amendment to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension of the Housing Renovation Program Agreement. Overall, the provincial contribution is $50 million, while the federal government is contributing a further $43 million resulting in a joint investment of approximately $93 million over the next two years.

The Honourable Ethel Cochrane, Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat for Newfoundland, on behalf of the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works, Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing, made the announcement today.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, was unable to attend this event but offered his congratulations on the signing of this joint agreement today.

"The Government of Canada continues to work hard to support Canadians during these challenging economic times and has moved aggressively to ensure Canada’s Economic Action Plan is implemented rapidly," said Senator Cochrane. "We are helping the most vulnerable, including seniors and persons with disabilities, access suitable, affordable housing, as well as making needed renovations to existing social housing both in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada."

"The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to building the necessary partnerships and investing in programs and services that will enable us to continue providing affordable housing for those most vulnerable," said Minister Skinner. "In addition, this agreement will generate significant economic stimulus for the retail and labour sectors of the housing industry, throughout the Province."

Today’s announcement includes federal funding of almost $29 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan as part of a one-time investment of more than $2 billion to build new and renovate existing social housing in Canada. The Province will also contribute almost $29 million for these initiatives, over the next two years.

"Our Government is committed to making affordable housing available in Newfoundland and Labrador and today’s announcement is good news for this province," said Minister MacKay. "This investment will help create much needed jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve the quality of life for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

"The agreements and economic action plans announced today will support significant social housing programs and infrastructure," said Minister Taylor. "It will also encourage partnerships with private and non-profit sector groups; address the housing needs of seniors and persons with disabilities and help people live more independently."

These investments build upon the $1.9 billion commitment for housing and homelessness programs announced by the Government of Canada in September 2008, which extended the Affordable Housing Initiative and the renovation programs for low-income households for two years. Today’s announcement also includes a further combined investment of almost $35 million by both levels of government for the two-year extensions to build new affordable housing and assist low-income households with needed renovations to their homes.

CMHC has been Canada’s national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a reality across the country.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada.

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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
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482
michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca
Kristen Scheel
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
613-748-2799
Email: kscheel@cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Dawn L. Ring
Consultant-Communications and Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
709-772-5973
dring@cmhc.ca
 

BACKGROUNDER

The Government of Canada’s commitment to affordable housing is significant.

Overall, Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides a total of $7.8 billion to build quality housing, stimulate construction, create jobs, encourage home ownership and enhance the energy efficiency of Canadian homes. In the process, it will provide new and renovated housing for more than 200,000 Canadian households.

Of the $7.8 billion, more than $2 billion is provided through CMHC to build new and renovate existing social housing. This will include:

  • $1 billion for social housing renovation;
  • $600 million for new housing and repairs to existing social housing on-reserve and in the North broken down as follows:
  • $400 million for on-reserve communities
  • $200 million for the North
  • $400 million for housing for low-income seniors; and
  • $75 million for housing for people with disabilities.
  • Most of this funding, $1.525 billion of the more than $2 billion, is being delivered by provinces and territories through amendments to existing agreements. Provinces and territories will design and deliver these initiatives, as well as cost-match the federal investment. As of today, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have signed amendments to the existing agreement for the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI).

    The federal government will directly deliver the remaining $550 million of this $2 billion

    funding: $150 million for the renovation and retrofit of social housing projects administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and $400 million in new construction and repair for housing on-reserve through CMHC and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

    In September 2008, the Government of Canada also announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. As part of this investment, the Affordable Housing Initiative and the federal renovation programs for low-income households were extended for two years. Today’s announcement also includes a total investment of $35 million for these two-year extensions.

    Overall, for both the stimulus funding and extensions, the federal contribution is $43 million, while the province is contributing a further $50 million for the combined investment of $93 million.

    As well, up to $2 billion in low-cost repayable loans for housing-related infrastructure projects will be made available to towns and cities across the country.

    The Government of Canada, through CMHC, spends approximately $1.7 billion annually to support almost 625,000 low- and moderate-income households in existing social housing across Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the federal government provides $50.4 million annually to support some 12,650 households.