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Released July 14, 2010



PHRP Enables Homeowners in Central Region to Renovate their Homes

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, 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 $3.7 million in grants and repayable loans to assist low-income homeowners in central 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 two 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.

"The Government of Canada is committed to providing a hand up to those who need it most," said Minister MacKay. "Through this investment, we are helping make an important difference in the lives of low income families in the Central region who are trying to build a better future for themselves."

"As one of this province’s most successful services, the Provincial Home Repair Program has shown amazing results in enabling homeowners throughout the province to upgrade their substandard housing at minimum cost," said Minister Hedderson. "Since 1976, home repair assistance has been provided to more than 45,000 households or some 95,000 people in 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 "first-come, first-served" basis; however, priority is given to emergency repairs and persons with disabilities. Applicants must be homeowners with annual incomes of $32,500 or less.

A total of 972 PHRP grants and repayable loans were approved in 2009-10 for applicants in the Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor regional areas. Throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, a total of 2,810 in grants and repayable loans were approved under 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
Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Communications and Marketing
709-772-5973
krleblan@cmhc.ca