Affordable housing in Prince Edward Island gets a $13 million boost



    CHARLOTTETOWN, May 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and the
province of Prince Edward Island 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
Prince Edward Island.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-P.E.I. Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension of the
Housing Renovation Program Agreement, resulting in a joint investment of more
than $13 million over the next two years.
    The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, 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 the Honourable Doug Currie, Minister of Health and
Minister of Social Services and Seniors for PEI, 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 Shea. "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 Prince Edward Island and across
Canada."
    "This investment will enable Prince Edward Island to renovate or replace
many of our aging social housing units," said Minister Currie. "Everyone
deserves to live in comfortable and affordable homes, and today's investment
means that more seniors, families, and people with disabilities in our One
Island Community will be able to live in housing that offers them a good
quality of life."
    Today's announcement includes federal funding of $4 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 $4 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 includes a
further combined investment of $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 $7 million, while the province is
contributing a further $6 million for the combined investment of almost $13
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.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
               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, $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. In addition to
Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Nova Scotia have 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 includes a total investment of $5 million for
these two-year extensions.
    Overall, for both the stimulus funding and extensions, the federal
contribution is $7 million, while the province is contributing a further $6
million for the combined investment of $13 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 Prince Edward Island, the federal
government provides almost $14.6 million annually to support some 3,450
households.




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Stefanie
Arduini, Communications Officer, Prince Edward Island Department of Social
Services and Seniors, (902) 620-3409, sarduini@gov.pe.ca; Patricia Montreuil,
Consultant, Communications and Marketing, CMHC-Atlantic Business Centre,
(506)-866-8047, pmontreu@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


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