CMHC to assist municipalities with infrastructure loans



    KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Diane
Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister
Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), today
announced that municipalities can begin applying for direct, low-cost loans
for shovel-ready infrastructure projects through CMHC.
    "Our Government understands the importance of infrastructure in
maintaining strong and prosperous communities," said Minister Finley. "We're
very pleased to officially launch our Municipal Infrastructure Lending
Program, which will give municipalities access to the low-cost funding they
need to move forward quickly on housing-related infrastructure projects. These
projects will also provide job creation for the local community."
    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. 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. Eligible
loans will be approved largely on a first come, first serve basis, 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. Only infrastructure projects serving new or existing residential areas
may be considered.
    Eligible municipal infrastructure projects must directly relate to
housing, contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas.
Projects include, for example, 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; residential sidewalks, lighting,
pathways, landscaping and green space.
    "The Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) is pleased to see this
program launched so quickly," said Gary Friend, President of CHBA. "This
funding will not only provide needed municipal infrastructure for housing in
our communities, but it will also help to create jobs and stimulate our
economy."
    "This program will help municipalities across Canada," said Ken Seiling,
Regional Chair, Regional Municipality of Waterloo. "With access to
preferential lending rates, it should assist many communities in advancing
their critical infrastructure projects."

    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.

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

    To watch this event on-line, visit the Newsroom on CMHC's website.

    
                                 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) 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, contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas.
Projects include, for example, 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; residential sidewalks, lighting,
pathways, landscaping and green space.
    Infrastructure projects not directly related to housing such as social
infrastructure projects, including community centres, skating rinks,
playground equipment and libraries, are not eligible under this program.
    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-serve
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.

    Municipalities can also reach CMHC by phone at 1-800-668-2642.




For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Office of the
Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada, (819) 994-2482


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