TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The Renewable Energy Initiative was introduced today as a first step in a program application process, through funding of $70 million for energy efficiency upgrades of existing social and new affordable housing projects. Announcements will be made this spring on requests for quotations from suppliers and on the application process so that organizations can apply for funding.
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing made the announcement.
The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this investment as part of the Government of Canada's funding announced under Canada's Economic Action Plan for Ontario. This will lead to improved energy efficiency and support the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems in existing and new affordable housing that are capable of generating energy and selling surplus energy back into the electrical grid.
"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Harper government is committed to making communities stronger through investments in safe and energy efficient housing," said Minister Finley. "These investments create and sustain local jobs and invest in our future."
"The McGuinty government is taking steps to make Ontario's social and affordable housing more energy efficient." said Minister Bradley. "This initiative will help promote green industry and create new jobs here."
The funding for today's announcement is part of a joint investment of more than $1.2 billion over two years through an amendment to the Canada - Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement which was announced in June 2009.
The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing to ensure that Canadians on fixed incomes can live with independence and dignity in their communities, close to family and friends. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides over two years $850 million for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing, plus a further $475 million to build new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. These new housing investments also address Canada's goals with respect to climate change and the environment. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over the next five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless.
Ontario is investing $704 million to repair eligible social housing across the province. In addition, the province has already approved more than $382 million for construction-ready projects, which will improve access to affordable housing for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities across the province. It will also create jobs and strengthen local economies. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.mah.gov.on.ca.
More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca. 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.
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For more information visit: http://www.cmhc.ca
SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
For further information: For further information: Media Inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Nancy MacMillan, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 218-3336 ; Joe Kim, Office of Minister Bradley, (416) 585-7686