Released August 16, 2011
Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Reach Agreement on Delivery of Investments for Canadians in Housing Need
The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador today announced a combined investment of close to $41 million under a new affordable housing agreement, which will continue to reduce the number of households in housing need.
The agreement comes as a result of the recently announced Investment Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Framework Agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The framework recognizes the diversity of affordable housing needs of Canadians and that a range of solutions – from existing programs to new approaches – is the most effective in meeting local needs and priorities. It also recognizes that provinces and territories have responsibility under this framework for the design and delivery of affordable housing programs in order to address their own specific housing needs and priorities in their jurisdictions.
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 Darin King, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, made the announcement today.
“Our government is committed to working with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador to develop and implement solutions to housing,” said Minister Finley. “This agreement recognizes the need for local solutions to housing challenges and the importance of reporting on progress on achievement of outcomes.”
“Under this new agreement, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, will be able to continue to provide a variety of housing programs designed specifically to meet the needs of lower income households,” said Minister King. “The agreement provides for programs such as home repair assistance and capital grants to encourage the construction of affordable rental housing for families and individuals as well as supportive living arrangements for persons with complex needs.”
Newfoundland and Labrador will fully cost-match the federal funding and deliver provincially-designed housing programs. The agreement provides Newfoundland and Labrador with the flexibility to make investments to achieve the overall objective of the framework: to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need by improving access to affordable housing that is sound, suitable and sustainable. Initiatives can include new construction, renovation, homeownership assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances and accommodations for victims of family violence.
Both governments will report annually to the public regarding the investments and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes of the initiative.
The Federal and Provincial Governments also announced that a combined investment of more than $23.9 million, committed under Canada’s Economic Action Plan and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Initiative, has resulted in the creation of 1,456 renovated and new affordable housing units for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities in the Avalon, Burin, Central, Western and Labrador regions.
In September 2008, the Government of Canada committed to a five-year investment of more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness to address the needs of low-income Canadians, those at risk of homelessness, and the homeless. This included a two-year renewal of the Affordable Housing Initiative and renovation programs until March 31, 2011 with a commitment to consult on the use of the investments for the 2011-14 period.
In the fall of 2009, federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as municipalities, public and private stakeholders, engaged on how best to use federal funding from 2011 to 2014. Federal, provincial and territorial housing ministers also met in December 2009 to discuss the future of these investments.
The federal investments announced today are part of the Government of Canada’s $1.9 billion commitment for housing and homelessness programs announced in 2008. Canada’s Economic Action Plan built on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
A key objective for the Provincial Government is to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Provincial priority is on rental housing for persons with disabilities, seniors and those who require supports to live independently in the community. As part of Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government is investing $25.9 million for social housing infrastructure and increased maintenance funding over this fiscal year.
This work is also in keeping with the goals of the Provincial Government’s Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations, released in 2009. The plan outlines a new long-term vision for social housing aimed at increasing rental options for lower-income households and the supply of accessible housing, all helping to create healthier communities. A copy of the social housing plan is available at www.nlhc.nl.ca/SocialHsingPlan/report.pdf
To find out more about how the Government of Canada, through CMHC, is 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 or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.