Canada's Economic Action Plan delivers housing-related infrastructure loans
to Summerside and Stratford

SUMMERSIDE, PEI, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced today the approval of more than $8.2 million in low-cost loans for the communities of Summerside and Stratford as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

The City of Summerside has been approved for a low-cost loan of $8 million to develop an electrical generating wind farm. This includes the installation of four wind turbines, the interconnection of the electrical grid and the construction of related transmission infrastructure in order to provide the residents of Summerside with green power and more stable electricity costs.

The Town of Stratford has been approved for a low-cost loan of more than $200,000 to improve their sewer and water systems. This includes installing new sewer mains for approximately 50 properties and new water mains for approximately 22 properties along Georgetown Road.

"Our Government understands the importance of infrastructure in maintaining strong and prosperous communities," said Minister Shea. "This program is opening the door for municipalities of all sizes to meet their housing-related infrastructure needs. Canada's Economic Action Plan is creating jobs and stimulating the economy in the town of Stratford, and right here in Summerside."

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides up to $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities, over two years, for housing-related infrastructure projects through CMHC's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP). Municipal infrastructure loans are available to any municipality in Canada and will provide a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. These low-cost loans can also be used by municipalities to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.

"This low interest loan from the CMHC's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program allows the City to have significant savings with the borrowing of the loan," said Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart. "Producing wind energy was made a priority by our province and City, and having the opportunity to borrow this money through Canada's Economic Action Plan has allowed the City to decrease the cost of borrowing."

"We are pleased to be able to obtain a loan for our Georgetown Road infrastructure project from CMHC at a rate that is significantly lower than what we can obtain from the market," said Stratford Mayor Kevin Jenkins. "The CMHC loan, along with the Building Canada infrastructure funding and the New Deal Funding, allowed the Town to provide much-needed sewer and water services to residents of the area, along with greatly improving safety via the addition of sidewalks and bicycle lanes. This project is a key step in accomplishing our goal of linked systems of sidewalks and bicycle lanes, encouraging our residents to use alternative transportation whenever possible and stay physically active."

Eligible projects include infrastructure related to housing services such as water, power generation and waste services, as well as local transportation infrastructure within and into residential areas, such as roads, sidewalks, lighting and green space.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

More information, including applications forms, for municipalities wishing to apply for loans can be found at: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.gc.ca.

Backgrounder attached.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
              HELPING MUNICIPALITIES BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES
                CMHC Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program
    

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides up to $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities over two years through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)'s Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program (MILP) for housing-related infrastructure projects in towns and cities across the country.

These infrastructure loans are available to any municipality within Canada and will provide a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects. Only infrastructure projects serving new or existing residential areas may be considered.

Eligible municipal infrastructure projects must directly relate to housing, thereby contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas. Projects include infrastructure related to the provision of housing services such as water, wastewater and solid waste services; power generation; local transportation infrastructure within or into residential areas such as roads, bridges and tunnels; and residential sidewalks, lighting, pathways, landscaping and green space.

There will be a focus on funding projects that are shovel-ready, as this is a targeted, short-term, temporary measure intended to create jobs.

These low-cost loans will significantly decrease the cost of borrowing for municipalities and can be used by them to fund their contribution for cost-shared federal infrastructure programming.

Eligible loans will be approved largely on a first-come, first-served basis, provided the proposal meets eligibility requirements. However, CMHC will also seek to facilitate equitable access to the program and will work to encourage applications from urban and rural municipalities across Canada.

CMHC will screen applications against program eligibility, readiness to proceed and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) requirements.

For more information or to make an application, municipalities can visit CMHC's website at www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.gc.ca.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media inquiries: Emely Poitras-Benedict, CMHC Atlantic Marketing & Communications, (902) 426-8127; Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482


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