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Released December 19, 2011



Program Enables Central Homeowners to Renovate Their Homes

A $3.1 million investment in the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) in central Newfoundland enabled 775 homeowners with low incomes to make renovations and repairs over the past year.

“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country for those most vulnerable,” 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). “I am pleased that our contributions towards the renovation of these homes will assist singles, families and seniors in Central Newfoundland.”

“The Provincial Home Repair Program supports the efforts of the Provincial Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “The program has assisted many homeowners with upgrading their homes to make them more affordable and safer spaces to live and raise their families. This program provides the added bonus of increased economic benefits to every region of the province.”

The types of repairs that can be undertaken with a PHRP loan or grant include upgrades to heating, electrical or plumbing systems, and renovations and retrofits to structures, foundations, windows, doors, roofing or siding. Applications are assessed in the order in which they are received and priority is given to emergency repairs. Applicants must be homeowners with annual incomes of $32,500 or less. The PHRP has provided more than $200 million to assist approximately 50,000 low-income households throughout the province since it began 36 years ago.

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.

On August 16, 2011, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced a combined investment of close to $41 million under the new Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014. Following the signing of this agreement, the Provincial Government through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, extended PHRP for another three years.

The Provincial Government is investing an additional $12 million in PHRP over the next three years, for a total provincial investment of $24 million. This increases the total PHRP budget for program years 2011-2014 to $36 million. This investment directly supports the goals of the Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - Secure Foundations, released by the Provincial Government in August 2009, outlining a long-term vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of low-income households and helping create healthier communities.

The PHRP serves an average 2,500 households annually, mostly in rural communities throughout the province. A maximum grant of $5,000 is available to homeowners on the island while in Labrador a maximum grant of $6,500 is available. Homeowners whose repairs exceed these levels may apply for a low-interest repayable loan of up to $10,000 ($13,000 in Labrador).

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:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 699-0470
jasoncard@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

Alyson Queen
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482
Katherine LeBlanc
Communications
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-6581