Affordable housing in Yukon gets a $60-million boost



    WHITEHORSE, YK, May 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada and the
Yukon 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 Yukon.
    Both levels of government officially signed an amendment to the
Canada-Yukon Affordable Housing Program Agreement, resulting in a joint
investment of $60 million over the next two years. As well, Yukon announced a
series of housing projects that will benefit from this funding.
    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 the Honourable Jim Kenyon, Minister Responsible for
Yukon Housing Corporation, Minister Responsible for Yukon Energy Corporation,
and Minister of Economic Development, made the announcement at a signing
ceremony today. Both Northwest Territories and Nunavut also 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 Yukon and across Canada."
    "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, Yukon Housing Corporation will
create lasting legacies for Yukoners throughout the territory," said Jim
Kenyon, Minister Responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation. "The new
construction and upgrade projects will generate jobs and economic spin-offs,
in addition to increasing Yukon's social housing inventory."
    Today's announcement includes federal funding of $51 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 $50 million for Northern housing, which does not require
cost-sharing by the territory, as well as $1 million for programs to assist
seniors and persons with disabilities and to renovate and retrofit existing
social housing.
    The territory will contribute a further $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 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 $54 million, while the territory is
contributing $6 million for the combined investment of $60 million.
    Included in Yukon's projects that will be funded through these
initiatives are a 30-unit family focused development for single-parent
families, and seniors' facilities in the communities of Watson Lake, Teslin
Faro, and Whitehorse. Yukon Housing Corporation will replace aging apartment
buildings in Whitehorse and Dawson City, build new townhouses in Whitehorse,
and undertake comprehensive repairs and upgrades of the existing social
housing portfolio in 10 communities. All new construction will meet Yukon
Housing Corporation's SuperGreen Home energy standards, which are the
highest-rated nationally. Many units will also feature Accommodating Home
standards, to ensure a barrier-free interior and exterior living environment.
    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.

    Backgrounders attached.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
           INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS IN YUKON
    

    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, Yukon,
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have all 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 combined total investment of
$5 million, from both levels of government, for these two-year extensions.
    Overall, for both the stimulus funding and the extension, the federal
contribution is $54 million, while the territory is contributing a further $6
million for the combined investment of $60 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 the Yukon, the federal government
provides more than $9 million annually to support some 1,250 households.

    
                                 Backgrounder
                      Yukon Affordable Housing Projects
    

    All new construction will feature Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC)
SuperGreen standards. Some will be built to YHC's Accommodating Home
standards.

    
    Family-focused Housing, Whitehorse
    - A 30-unit complex consisting of four separate buildings. Intended for
      single families (this group represents the largest percentage of
      eligible applicants for social housing in Whitehorse). Construction is
      expected to start this fall.

    Watson Lake Seniors Building
    - A 12-unit seniors building which promotes independent living and the
      opportunity for seniors to reside in a barrier-free environment, thus
      enabling seniors to remain in their community. Construction is expected
      to start this summer.

    Teslin Seniors Building
    - An 8-unit seniors building which promotes independent living and the
      opportunity for seniors to reside in a barrier-free environment, thus
      enabling seniors to remain in their community. Construction is expected
      to start this fall.

    Faro Seniors Building
    - A 4-unit seniors building which promotes independent living and the
      opportunity for seniors to reside in a barrier-free environment, thus
      enabling seniors to remain in their community. Construction is expected
      to start this fall.

    Replacement of 207 Alexander Street, Whitehorse
    - A 13-unit apartment building for seniors that was built in 1963. It
      will be replaced with a modern seniors building either on the same site
      or in a new location. Construction is expected to start this fall or in
      the spring of 2010.

    Replacement of Korbo Apartments, Dawson City
    - Korbo Apartment building was built in the 1950's and contains 13
      individual apartments. The building will be decommissioned as social
      housing, and replaced with 18-unit apartment building at a different
      location (to be determined).

    Abbeyfield House, Whitehorse
    - This building will feature up to 12 private bed-sitting suites for
      seniors, plus common areas including a kitchen, living room, dining
      room, recreation room, and a live-in caretaker suite. Construction is
      expected to start this fall.

    Attached Family Housing, Whitehorse
    - There will be two attached housing projects (six row-houses and three
      duplexes). Both will be built in residential neighbourhoods, and
      feature multiple bedrooms appropriate for larger families. The row-
      housing project is expected to start this fall and the duplex project
      is scheduled to begin in 2010.

    Children's Receiving Home, Whitehorse
    - This project will replace an outdated facility with a new state-of-the-
      art building. Construction is expected to start this summer.

    Upgrade of Existing Social Housing Units throughout Yukon
    - Yukon Housing Corporation operates 576 social housing units in 10
      communities. A technical review of all units is complete and upgrade
      work has been identified. Tenders will be issued steadily over the next
      two years to maximize business and employment opportunities.
    




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Emily
Younker, Cabinet Communications, Government of Yukon, (867) 633-7961,
emily.younker@gov.yk.ca; Kimberlee Jones, Communications Consultant, Prairie
and Territories Business Centre, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,
(403) 515-3048, kjones@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Nathalie Harwood, Communications,
Yukon Housing, Corporation, Government of Yukon, (867) 667-5075,
nathalie.harwood@gov.yk.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