Affordable Housing in Saskatchewan gets a $161-Million boost



    SASKATOON, SK, May 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and the
Province of Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan
families.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Program Agreement and an extension to
the Canada-Saskatchewan Housing Renovation Program Agreement, resulting in a
joint investment of more than $161 million over the next two years.
    Today's event was held at Monarch Yards, an affordable rental housing
project for low-income families which celebrated its official opening today.
    Ed Komarnicki, Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada and to the Minister of Labour, on
behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of HRSDC and Minister
Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, along with the
Honourable Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan's Minister of Social Services, 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 Mr. Komarnicki.
"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 Saskatchewan and across
Canada."
    "Together with our federal partners, our government is strongly committed
to making affordable housing available in Saskatchewan," said the Honourable
Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services and Minister
Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation. "We welcome this significant
investment, which underlines our resolve to honour this historical agreement
and to build brighter futures for Saskatchewan families, seniors and persons
with disabilities."
    Today's announcement includes federal funding of $66 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 $66 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 $29 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 $84 million, while the province is
contributing a further $77 million for the combined investment of over $161
million.
    In addition to this funding commitment, a new 55-unit affordable housing
project for low and moderate-income families was officially opened in
Saskatoon today. This project was funded by the Government of Canada, the
Province of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon under the existing AHI
program.
    Located at Avenue L and 20th Street, the project consists of an 18-unit
complex of two-and three-bedroom townhouses and a 37-unit rental apartment
building. The total project cost of nearly $11.8 million was provided by the
three levels of government: $5.9 million from Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation; $4.7 million from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation; and $1.18
million from the City of Saskatoon, which also supported the project through
its Enterprise Zone Initiatives.

    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.




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Linda
Saliken, Saskatchewan, Ministry of Social Services, (306) 787-0246,
linda.saliken@gov.sk.ca; Kristen Scheel, Media Relations Officer, Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (613) 748-2799, kscheel@cmhc.ca


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