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Released July 13, 2010



PHRP Enables Homeowners in Western Region to Renovate Their Homes

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, today announced that during the 2009-10 fiscal year, the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) provided close to $3.1 million in grants and repayable loans to assist low-income homeowners in the Western region to renovate their homes.

The PHRP is a long-standing housing program that assists low-income homeowners to undertake much needed repairs to their homes and provides seniors and persons with disabilities funding to make accessibility retrofits. The Federal and Provincial Governments are contributing to an overall investment of $24.2 million, over 2 years, under the amended CMHC – Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Renovation Program Agreement, with the Provincial Government contributing $16 million and the Federal Government, $8.2 million.

"By investing in housing renovations, our government is providing a hand up to those who need it most here in Newfoundland and Labrador, and throughout the country," said Minister MacKay. "These investments help make communities stronger, while providing more access to safe, affordable homes for low-income families."

"For the past 30 years, the Provincial Home Repair Program has consistently met or exceeded its mandate for providing a cost-effective means for low-income homeowners to make essential repairs to their homes," said Minister Hedderson. "In addition to being one of our most successful programs, it provides major economic benefits to all areas of the province, especially in rural Newfoundland and Labrador."

The types of repairs that can be untaken with a PHRP loan or grant include upgrades to heating, electrical or plumbing systems, and renovations and retrofits to deteriorated structures, foundations, windows, doors, roofing or siding. Applicants are addressed on a first-come, first-served basis; however, priority is given to emergency repairs and persons with disabilities. Applicants must be bona fide homeowners with annual incomes of $32,500 or less.

A total of 865 PHRP grants and repayable loans were approved in 2009-2010 for applicants in the Corner Brook and Stephenville regional areas. Throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, a total of 2,810 in grants and repayable loans were approved under the PHRP in 2009-2010.

On average, PHRP applicants are approximately 61 years of age, live in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, have annual incomes of $16,000 - $17,000, and reside in homes that are approximately 40 years old.

A maximum grant of $5,000 is available to homeowners on the island, while homeowners in Labrador are eligible for a maximum grant of $6,500. Persons with accessibility needs on the island and in Labrador are eligible for a maximum grant of $7,500. Homeowners whose repairs exceed these levels may apply for a low-interest repayable loan of up to $10,000 [$13,000 in Labrador]. In Newfoundland and Labrador approximately 2,000 applicants are served under PHRP each year.

In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. As part of this investment, the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) and renovation programs for low-income households were extended for two years. For Newfoundland and Labrador this represents $14 million in federal funding.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion to build new and renovate existing social housing for low-income Canadians, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

Renovation work completed under this program is also in keeping with the goals of the Provincial Government’s Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations, which outlines a new long-term vision for social housing aimed at improving the housing circumstances of lower-income households and helping to create healthier communities. A copy of the social housing plan is available at www.nlhc.nl.ca/SocialHsingPlan/report.pdf.

More information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Federal Government’s plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.  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.

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Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267
rogerscaplen@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
Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Communications and Marketing
709-772-5973
krleblan@cmhc.ca