CMHC social housing renovation and retrofit creates jobs, helps communities



    OTTAWA, May 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Social housing across Canada can now access
funding for renovation and retrofit projects, the Honourable Diane Finley,
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible
for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced today.
    "Social housing projects funded and administered by CMHC can now access
the funding they need to move forward quickly on repairs and renovations
needed to enhance aging housing stock across Canada. This funding benefits
communities by renewing social housing, as well as improving the quality of
life for the people who live there," said Minister Finley. "These projects
will also have tremendous spin-off benefits in terms of creating jobs and
helping to stimulate our economy."
    As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government announced $1
billion for social housing renovation and retrofit. Of this amount, CMHC will
deliver $150 million targeted to federally administered social housing. The
remaining $850 million is being delivered by the provinces and territories on
a cost-shared 50/50 basis under the Affordable Housing Initiative to the
existing social housing projects they administer.
    Eligible repairs include general improvements, energy-efficiency upgrades
or conversions and modifications in support of persons with disabilities.
    "We congratulate Minister Finley and CMHC on launching the renovation and
retrofit initiative announced in the 2009 federal budget," said Nicholas
Gazzard, Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.
"This funding is welcome indeed. Besides providing much-needed economic
stimulus, it will help to ensure that Canada's housing co-operatives are
preserved as a legacy for the long-term benefit of all Canadians."

    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:
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp.

    To apply, or for more information, visit CMHC's website at:
www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan or by phone at 1-800-668-2642.

    
               INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS
                  CMHC-ADMINISTERED RENOVATION AND RETROFIT

    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 of which $850 million will be
      delivered by provinces and territories on a cost-shared 50-50 basis
      under the Affordable Housing Initiative to existing social housing
      projects they administer. The remaining $150 million will be delivered
      by CMHC for social housing it administers directly off reserve;
    - $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.
    

    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.
    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.




For further information:

For further information: Kristen Scheel, CMHC Media Relations, (613)
316-2949; Beth Bailey, CMHC Media Relations, Ontario Region, (613) 988-4615;
Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada, (613) 218-9288


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