Affordable housing in Nova Scotia gets a $128 million boost



    OTTAWA, April 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and the province
of Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotians.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension to
the Canada-Nova Scotia Housing Renovation Program Agreement, resulting in a
joint investment of almost $128 million over the next two years.
    The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Chris d'Entremont, Nova Scotia Minister
of Community Services, made the announcement at a signing ceremony today,
accompanied by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and
Minister for the Atlantic Gateway.
    "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 Finley.
"We are helping the most vulnerable, including seniors and persons with
disabilities, access suitable, affordable housing, as well as making needed
renovations to existing social housing both in Nova Scotia and across Canada."
    Today's announcement of almost $128 million includes federal funding of
$48 million, matched by the province, 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.
    "Housing funds on the scale we are talking about today have not been seen
in our province in decades and will not only allow us to help Nova Scotians in
need of housing, but those in need of work," said Minister d'Entremont. "This
investment in affordable housing is a major part of Nova Scotia's Building for
Growth provincial infrastructure plan which will inject close to $2 billion
into our economy over the next three years."
    "Our Government is committed to making affordable housing available in
Nova Scotia and today's announcement is good news for our province," said
Minister MacKay. "This investment will help create much needed jobs,
strengthen the economy, and improve the quality of life for Nova Scotians."
    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 and the renovation programs
for low-income households for two years. The two-year extensions of these
programs means a further $32 million will be invested to build new affordable
housing and assist low-income households with needed renovations to their
homes. Of this total, the federal government will contribute $21 million,
while the province will invest about $11 million.
    "I am very pleased that the federal government and Nova Scotia are
partnering to provide much needed funding for affordable housing in our
communities," said Bill Buckland, Vice-President of the Affordable Housing
Association of Nova Scotia, and Board Member of the Canadian Housing and
Renewal Association. "These investments will help lower-income people, seniors
and families, access affordable housing in Nova Scotia."

    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.
    To watch this event on-line, visit the Newsroom on CMHC's website.

    
               INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS

    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 is being delivered by provinces and territories
through existing agreements. Nova Scotia's share of the stimulus funding,
being delivered by provinces and territories under amendments to existing
Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) agreements, is more than $48 million.
    In addition, the federal government will invest $150 million in 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 federal renovation programs for
low-income households, and the Affordable Housing Initiative, were extended
for two years. As a result, a further $21 million in federal funding is also
being made available to Nova Scotia through these two-year extensions.
    Together, this represents more than $69 million in new federal housing
funding to be delivered by the province of Nova Scotia.
    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 some 630,000 low- and moderate-income households in
existing social housing across Canada. In Nova Scotia, the federal government
provides almost $58 million annually to support some 21,900 households.

    
         Table 1: Investments in Affordable Housing for Nova Scotia
                     under Federal-Provincial Agreements

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Program                               2009-10($M)  2010-11($M)  Total($M)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada 's Economic Action Plan:
      - Renovation and Retrofit of
        Social Housing                       $ 34.34      $ 34.34    $ 68.68
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      - Housing for Low-Income Seniors       $ 11.56      $ 11.56    $ 23.12
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      - Housing for Persons with
        Disabilities                         $  1.08      $  3.24    $  4.32
                                             -------      -------    -------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada's Economic Action Plan
    Sub-Total                                $ 46.98      $ 49.14    $ 96.12
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2009, Two-Year Extension:
      - Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI)  $  6.65      $  6.65    $ 13.30
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      - Renovation Programs                  $  9.15      $  9.15    $ 18.30
                                             -------      -------    -------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Federal/Provincial Funding         $ 62.78      $ 64.94    $127.72
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Kristen
Tynes, Communications Advisor, Nova Scotia Department of Community Services,
(902) 424-4038, tyneskja@gov.ns.ca; Kristen Scheel, Senior Media Relations
Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (613) 748-2799,
kscheel@cmhc.ca


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