Minister Solberg says federal involvement in housing has never been stronger



    OTTAWA, Feb. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of
Human Resources and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today commented on the federal
government's commitment to helping Canadians who are seeking to break free
from the cycles of homelessness and poverty.
    "Addressing the issues of housing and homelessness is a shared challenge
and requires the engagement of all levels of government, the private sector
and community organizations, said Minister Solberg. "I look forward to my
upcoming meetings with my provincial-territorial colleagues as we continue to
work together to address important housing issues."
    Minister Solberg noted that the federal government is taking steps to
meet the needs of low and moderate income people not only through housing
programs, but through its emphasis on training and work, and effective
management of the economy and government finances. All of these factors
contribute to reducing poverty and homelessness and to helping more Canadians
afford a home.
    "The best social safety net is a combination of relevant skills, a good
job and strong families," he stated. "While we know that most Canadians are
well served by Canada's housing market, making us one of the best-housed
countries in the world, we also recognize there is work ahead. And, we are
delivering results."
    The federal government will invest more on affordable and supportive
housing this year than any government in history.
    To date, the federal government has invested $1.4 billion in three
provincial and territorial housing trusts to address short term pressures on
the supply of affordable housing, over three years. Through the
federal-provincial Affordable Housing Initiative, the government is investing
$1 billion, which is matched by provinces, territories and others, including
municipalities and community groups.
    This is in addition to the $1.7 billion Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC) spends annually in support of some 630,000 lower income
households across Canada and the two-year, $526 million investment in two
initiatives - the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy, aimed at combating
homelessness in communities across Canada; and the extension of CMHC's
renovation programs for low-income people, including Aboriginal peoples.
    As well, in April 2007, the federal government created a $300 million
First Nations Market Housing Fund; this is in addition to the annual spending
on social housing and renovation on-reserve. This innovative approach will
improve housing on-reserve, increase the housing supply and provide First
Nations families and individuals with a means to build equity and generate
wealth.

    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.




For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Lesley Harmer, Director of
Communications, Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human
Resources and Social Development, (819) 994-2482; Kristen Scheel, Senior Media
Relations Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (613) 748-4632


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