Released December 18, 1998

Federal government to provide an additional
$1.9 million in funding for
Provincial Housing Repair Program

The federal government has announced that it will provide the province with an additional $1.9 million in funding to the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) which addresses households with the greatest home repair needs. The minister responsible for housing, Honourable Lloyd Matthews, and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) were informed earlier today that the federal government has committed $50 million nationally to housing repair programs. 

Commenting on the federal announcement, Minister Matthews said: "This is good news indeed. The demand for housing repair assistance in the province is substantial. This extra funding will allow us to assist approximately 250 individuals, depending on the type of repairs required. This will be in addition to the 800 families that we will be able to help under this year's Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP). It is very encouraging to know that the federal government is still committed to supporting housing programs where possible", Mr. Matthews added. 

To date, a total of $6 million dollars has been committed under the PHRP with approximately 800 households having been or are in the process of being served. 

Minister Matthews used the opportunity to announce that an accelerated review of the current waiting list for the PHRP will be undertaken to ensure that the province is dealing with only those individuals with homes which are still actively in need of repairs. The program will continue to serve individuals from the current list on a "first-come, first-served" basis, while striving to address those who are most in need. Urgent cases with special needs will also continue to be addressed on an exceptional basis. The current waiting list already demonstrates an adequate demand for additional funding. The new money will further aid those on the current waiting list who are in need of home repairs. 

As in the past, NLHC will accept referrals from the Departments of Health and Community Services, Human Resources and Employment (DHRE), any MHAs or other interested groups. Approval of the referrals will be based on an assessment which will be completed by NLHC officials. 

With the signing of the Social Housing Agreement, responsibility for housing programs has been assumed by the provincial government, and consequently NLHC has been able to redirect federal funding from the former Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) into the new PHRP.  This program contained modifications to the existing RRAP guidelines that allowed the corporation to be more responsive and flexible in meeting the housing needs of the people of this province. 

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For further information, contact: 
Jenny Bowring, Corporate Communications, NLHC 
Telephone:  (709) 724-3055