Record investment of more than $820 million for affordable housing in Quebec

QUEBEC, Oct. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The governments of Canada and Quebec are partnering to provide a joint investment to build new affordable housing and renovate existing social housing throughout Quebec. In addition to providing economic stimulus, this investment will help create jobs and improve the quality of life for people across all regions of the province.

Both levels of government officially signed an extension to the Agreement for residential renovation and adaptation programs and the amending agreement for the Affordable Housing Initiative, which includes Canada's Economic Action Plan, resulting in a joint investment of more than $820 million over the next two years.

The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affaires, President of the Queen's Privy Council and Minister for la Francophonie, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Laurent Lessard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, made the announcement at a signing ceremony today.

"The Government of Canada continues to work hard to support Canadians during these challenging economic times and has moved quickly to ensure Canada's Economic Action Plan is implemented rapidly," said Minister Verner. "We are stimulating our economy, while helping people in need, including seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals, access suitable, affordable housing. We are also making needed renovations to existing social housing both in Quebec and across Canada."

"We are partnering to build new affordable housing and renovate existing social existing to help Quebec households access adequate housing conditions. We are very proud that we can make a real contribution to the wellness of the population by providing access to a quality housing environment. In addition, these major investments will promote job creation - a plus for our economy and a source of wealth for Quebecers," said Minister Lessard.

The investments announced today include $384 million from the Government of Canada, while the Government of Quebec is contributing a further $439 million.

Of the more than $820 million, the Government of Canada will allocate $269 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action Plan as part of a one-time investment of more than $2 billion to build new and renovate existing social housing. Quebec will also contribute the same amount for these initiatives, over the next two years.

These investments build upon the $1.9 billion five-year commitment for housing and homelessness programs announced by the Government of Canada in September 2008, which extended the Affordable Housing Initiative and the renovation programs for low-income households for two more years. The extension of these programs means that a further sum of $285 million ($115 million from the Government of Canada and $170 million from the Government of Quebec) will be invested to build new affordable housing and assist low-income households with needed renovations to their homes.

CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a reality across the country.

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. For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca or call 1-800-O Canada.

Backgrounders attached.

    
               INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR CANADIANS
    

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 homeownership 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 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to build new and renovate existing social housing. This will include:

    
    - $1 billion for social housing renovation;
    - $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, and
        - $200 million for the North;
    - $400 million for housing for low-income seniors; and
    - $75 million for housing for people with disabilities.
    

Most of this funding, $1.525 billion of the more than $2 billion, is being delivered by provinces and territories through amendments to existing agreements. Provinces and territories will design and deliver these initiatives, as well as cost-match the federal investment. All provinces and territories have signed amendments to the existing agreement for the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI).

The federal government will directly deliver the remaining $550 million of this $2 billion funding: $150 million for the renovation and retrofit of social housing projects administered by CMHC and $400 million in new construction and repair for housing on-reserve through CMHC and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

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 AHI and the federal renovation programs for low-income households were extended for two years. Today's announcement includes an investment of $285 million by both levels of government for these two-year extensions.

Overall, the federal contribution in Quebec is $384 million, while the Government of Quebec is contributing a further $439 million, for a combined investment of more than $820 million.

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 some 625,000 low- and moderate-income households in existing social housing across Canada. In Quebec, the Government of Canada provides more than $368 million annually, primarily in support of close to 135,600 households.

    
      Table 1 - Government of Canada Investments in Affordable Housing for
                   Quebec under Federal-Provincial Agreements

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Total
    Program                                                        2009-2011
                                                                      ($M)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada's Economic Action Plan:
      Renovation and Retrofit of Social Housing                        155.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Housing for Low-Income Seniors                                    95.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Housing for Persons with Disabilities                             18.0
                                                                        ----
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada's Economic Action Plan Sub-Total                            269.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two-Year Extension:
      Affordable Housing Initiative                                     57.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Renovation Programs                                               57.7
                                                                        ----
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Federal Funding Total                                              115.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                                              384.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


             INVESTISSEMENTS DANS LE LOGEMENT ABORDABLE AU QUÉBEC
    

L'entente entre les gouvernements du Québec et du Canada en matière de logement abordable et de rénovation de logements sociaux se traduira par un investissement conjoint de plus de 820 millions de dollars au cours des deux prochaines années.

Entre 2001 et 2007, la Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement et la Société d'habitation du Québec ont signé et renouvelé à plusieurs reprises les ententes concernant le logement abordable ainsi que certains programmes de rénovation et d'adaptation de domicile.

À l'automne 2008, le gouvernement du Canada a annoncé le renouvellement pour cinq ans du financement du logement abordable et des programmes d'aide à la remise en état des logements. L'annonce faite aujourd'hui comprend un investissement de 285 millions de dollars dans ces programmes par les deux ordres de gouvernement au cours de la prolongation de deux ans (170 millions de dollars du gouvernement du Québec et 115 millions de dollars du gouvernement du Canada).

En janvier 2009, dans le cadre du Plan d'action économique du Canada, le gouvernement du Canada a prévu différentes mesures de stimulation économique sur deux ans, dont certaines en matière de logement social et abordable. Cela signifie pour le Québec une contribution fédérale supplémentaire de 269 millions de dollars destinée au logement pour les aînés à faible revenu et les personnes handicapées ainsi qu'à la rénovation et la modernisation des logements sociaux.

Au total, la contribution fédérale au Québec s'élève à 384 millions de dollars, tandis que le gouvernement du Québec verse 439 millions de dollars, pour un investissement combiné de plus de 820 millions de dollars.

Le Québec pourra donc compter sur ces fonds fédéraux additionnels pour soutenir ses interventions actuelles et futures en matière de logement abordable et de rénovation de logements sociaux :

    
    - plus de 15 000 logements pourront profiter des investissements
      consentis dans le cadre de l'Initiative en matière de logement
      abordable;
    - près de 16 500 logements pourront bénéficier du financement des
      programmes de rénovation et d'adaptation de domicile.


          Investissements du Québec en matière de logement abordable
       et de rénovation de logements sociaux dans le cadre des ententes
                            fédérales-provinciales

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Total
    Programme                                                      2009-2011
                                                                      (M$)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan d'action économique du Canada :  Rénovation et
     amélioration des logements sociaux                                155,5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Logement pour les aînés à faible revenu                             95,5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Logement pour les personnes handicapées                               18
                                                                          --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan d'action économique du Canada - total partiel                   269
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2009, prolongation de deux ans :  Initiative en matière de
     logement abordable                                                 57,7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Programmes d'aide à la rénovation                                  112,3
                                                                       -----
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total des crédits provinciaux                                        170
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                                                439
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Sophie Dupuis, Communications and Marketing, CMHC - Quebec Business Centre, (514) 283-4489, sdupuis@cmhc.ca; Sylvain Bourassa, Press Assistant, Office of Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, (418) 691-2050; Josiane Lamothe, Communications, Société d'habitation du Québec, (418) 643-4035, ext. 1334


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