Released December 14, 2011

Building Redesign and Improvements Meet Changing Needs for Social Housing

The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced today the completion of a $495,000 reconfiguration housing project on Mundy Pond Road in St. John’s. A six-bedroom duplex has been remodelled into four, one-bedroom apartments for single adults living on low incomes.

The equally cost-shared federal and provincial funding for this current project was allocated through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund ($383,000) and Canada’s Economic Action Plan: Renovation and Retrofit of Social Housing ($112,000). This is the second reconfiguration project undertaken by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) as part of an innovative pilot project aimed at meeting the changing demographic need for social housing, particularly in urban centres through the restructuring of existing social housing properties.

“The Government of Canada is proud to have been a partner in the renovation and retrofit of these apartments,” said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “With the completion of the work, families and individuals can now access affordable rental housing that meets their needs.”

“I am delighted to announce the completion of this second reconfiguration project,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “These homes will definitely improve the ability to meet the changing and challenging housing needs of smaller families and single adults through our existing provincial social housing portfolio. For some time now we have been looking for innovative ways to achieve this goal, and it is our hope this reconfiguration will make a positive difference.”

The Provincial Government invested $1 million to research and develop options to address the changing demographic need for social housing. The goal is to restructure under-used units into homes that meet the demographic need for smaller homes, and in the process, to yield at least one additional unit within the same space. Similarly in Corner Brook, NLHC remodelled a duplex on Wheeler’s Road into three one- and two-bedroom apartments. Both reconfiguration projects were undertaken in low-density neighbourhoods with consideration for suitable parking and access.

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 2011-2014 period. 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.

The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided $850 million under the Affordable Housing Initiative to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing.

On August 16, 2011, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador signed a new $41-million equally cost-shared affordable housing agreement. Funding under the new agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 will continue to reduce the number of households in housing need.

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 Opens in new window. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit Opens in new window

A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - Secure Foundations, released by the Provincial Government in August 2009, outlines a long-term vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of low-income households and helping create healthier communities. Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador also allocated $25.9 million for social housing infrastructure, including $10.4 million for maintenance and $12 million for renovations and improvements.

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is the province’s largest landlord with approximately 5,573 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide.

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-0470
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
Katherine LeBlanc
Consultant, Communications
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Alyson Queen
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley