Affordable housing in Nunavut gets a $117-million boost



    IQALUIT, NU, May 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and Nunavut
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 residents of Nunavut.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-Nunavut Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension to the
Housing Renovation Program Agreement, resulting in a joint investment of more
than $117 million over the next two years.
    Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, 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 Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister Responsible for
Nunavut Housing Corporation, and Minister Responsible for Homelessness, made
the announcement at a signing ceremony today. Both the Yukon and Northwest
Territories also officially signed amended agreements 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 MP Hoback. "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 Nunavut and across Canada."
    "This investment is indicative of the close relationship between the
Nunavut Housing Corporation and the federal government, through CMHC, in
trying to address housing needs for Nunavummiut," said Minister Tootoo. "This
investment will enable us to provide an additional 285 social housing units
across the territory. Communities will receive housing based on priority."
    Today's announcement includes federal funding of $106 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. This includes $100 million for Northern housing, which does not
require cost-sharing by the territory, as well as $6 million for programs to
assist seniors and persons with disabilities and to renovate and retrofit
existing social housing.
    The territory will contribute a further $6 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 and the renovation programs
for low-income households for two years. Today's announcement also includes a
further combined investment of more than $5 million by both levels of
government for the two-year extensions to build new affordable housing and
assist low-income households with needed renovations to their homes.
    Overall, the federal contribution is $109 million, while the territory is
contributing more than $8 million for the combined investment of more than
$117 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. To learn more about
Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca
    To watch this event on-line, visit the Newsroom on CMHC's website.

    Backgrounder attached.

    INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS IN NUNAVUT

    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 renovation and retrofit of existing social housing;
    - $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 (no requirement for cost-sharing)
    - $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. As of today,
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova
Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have al1 signed
amendments to the existing agreement for the Affordable Housing Initiative
(AHI).
    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 further combined investment of
more than $5 million, by both levels of government, for these two-year
extensions.
    Overall, for both the stimulus funding and extensions, the federal
contribution is $109 million, while the territory is contributing a further $8
million for the combined investment of more than $117 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 Nunavut, the federal government
provides more than $59 million annually to support some 3,250 households.




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Peter
Scott, President, Nunavut Housing Corporation, (867) 975-7201,
pscott@gov.nu.ca; Kimberlee Jones, Communications Consultant, Prairie and
Territories Business, Centre Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (403)
515-3048, kjones@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


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