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Released December 23, 2011



Program Enables Homeowners in Western Newfoundland to Renovate

More than $3 million was invested in the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) in western Newfoundland in the last year, enabling 860 homeowners with low incomes the opportunity to renovate and repair their homes. 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), and the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), made the announcement today.

“Renovations like these create jobs for families across the province and will benefit all communities in need,” said Minister Penashue. “When we get individuals and families into safe and affordable housing we are improving their health, making our neighbourhoods safer and increasing young Newfoundlander’s and Labradorian’s opportunities to prosper.”

“Every year we receive very positive feedback from homeowners throughout the province who benefit from the Provincial Home Repair Program,” said Minister Hedderson. “It allows homeowners throughout the province to make renovations and repairs that will help maintain their properties for years to come. This is a valued program that supports our communities and allows families to invest in the place that means the most to them.”

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
krleblan@cmhc.ca