Affordable housing in Manitoba gets a $192-million boost



    WINNIPEG, MB, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and the
province of Manitoba are partnering on a joint investment to build new and
renovate existing affordable housing. This investment will help create jobs,
strengthen the economy, and improve the quality of life for the residents of
Manitoba.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension to the
Canada-Manitoba Housing Renovation Program Agreement, resulting in a joint
investment of almost $192 million over the next two years.
    The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of
the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), and Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Family Services and
Housing, made the announcement at a signing ceremony today.
    "The Government of Canada continues to work hard to support Canadians
during these challenging economic times, and has moved aggressively to ensure
Canada's Economic Action Plan is implemented rapidly," said Minister Toews.
"We are helping our most vulnerable Canadians, including seniors and persons
with disabilities, to access suitable, affordable housing, as well as making
needed renovations to existing social housing both in Manitoba and across
Canada."
    "With the financial support of the Government of Canada, Manitoba can
continue to build on a commitment of important housing initiatives," said
Minister Mackintosh. "Today's announcement demonstrates that together we can
provide a strong foundation for Manitobans in need by providing appropriate
and affordable housing options."
    Today's announcement includes federal funding of $79 million over two
years under Canada's Economic Action Plan as part of a one-time investment of
more than $2 billion to build new and renovate existing social housing in
Canada. The province will also contribute $79 million for these initiatives,
over the next two years.
    These investments build upon the $1.9 billion commitment for housing and
homelessness programs announced by the Government of Canada in September 2008,
which extended the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) and the renovation
programs for low-income households for two years. Today's announcement also
includes a $21 million federal investment and a $13 million provincial
investment for the two-year extensions to build new affordable housing and
assist low-income households with needed renovations to their homes.
    Included in Manitoba's projects funded through these initiatives are a
3-storey, 42 unit supportive and assisted living complex for seniors in
Grunthal and a 2-storey, 32 unit fully accessible seniors assisted living
building in Winnipeg Beach. Winnipeg Habitat for Humanity will also receive
funding towards the construction of 10 homes to be sold to low-to-moderate
income families, who will contribute 500 hours of "sweat equity" towards
building their home. These homes will be built to meet Manitoba Hydro's Power
Smart Gold Standard, with eight of the ten built to meet Leadership in Energy
and Environment Design (LEED) Silver Certification or higher.
    Overall, the federal contribution is close to $100 million, while the
province is contributing some $92 million, for a combined investment of almost
$192 million.

    CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years.
CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality,
affordable homes and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a
reality across the country.
    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. For more information on
Canada's Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada.

    Backgrounder attached.

    
               INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS
                                   MANITOBA

    The Government of Canada's commitment to affordable housing is
significant.
    Overall, Canada's Economic Action Plan provides a total of $7.8 billion to
build quality housing, stimulate construction, create jobs, encourage home
ownership and enhance the energy efficiency of Canadian homes. In the process,
it will provide new and renovated housing for more than 200,000 Canadian
households.
    Of the $7.8 billion, more than $2 billion is provided through CMHC to
build new and renovate existing social housing. This will include:
    - $1 billion for social housing renovation;
    - $600 million for new housing and repairs to existing social housing on-
      reserve and in the North broken down as follows:
           - $400 million for on-reserve communities
           - $200 million for the North
    - $400 million for housing for low-income seniors; and
    - $75 million for housing for people with disabilities.

    Most of this funding, $1.525 billion of the more than $2 billion, is being
delivered by provinces and territories through amendments to existing
agreements. Provinces and territories will design and deliver these
initiatives, as well as cost-match the federal investment.
    The federal government will directly deliver the remaining $550 million of
this $2 billion funding: $150 million for the renovation and retrofit of
social housing projects administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), and $400 million in new construction and repair for
housing on-reserve through CMHC and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
    In September 2008, the Government of Canada also announced $1.9 billion
over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income
Canadians. As part of this investment, the Affordable Housing Initiative and
the federal renovation programs for low-income households were extended for
two years. Today's announcement also includes a federal investment of $21
million and provincial investment of $13 million for these two-year
extensions.
    Overall, the federal contribution is almost $100 million, while the
province is contributing a further $92 million for the combined investment of
$192 million.
    As well, up to $2 billion in low-cost repayable loans for housing-related
infrastructure projects will be made available to towns and cities across the
country.
    The Government of Canada, through CMHC, spends approximately $1.7 billion
annually to support almost 625,000 low- and moderate-income households in
existing social housing across Canada. In Manitoba, the federal government
provides more than $118 million annually primarily to support some 41,950
households.
    




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary,
Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca;
Glen Cassie, Communication Services MB, (204) 945-0750, Glen.Cassie@gov.mb.ca;
Kimberlee Jones, Communications Consultant, Prairie and Territories Business
Centre, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (403) 515-3048,
kjones@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890