Social housing in Halifax being renovated

HALIFAX, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia today announced 131 renovation and retrofit units, totaling $3.1 million, for the North End United Housing Co-operative Limited, under a jointly funded program to renovate and retrofit social housing over the next two years.

The funding was made available through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment of $850 million for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing to help house seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households, under the amended Affordable Housing Program Agreements. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes more than $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Nova Scotia Minister of Community Services, made the announcement today.

"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government is committed to making communities stronger through projects like this one," said MP Scott Armstrong. "These investments in local infrastructure will help create new jobs and stimulate the local economy. This includes $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure that many families need."

"Co-ops provide a valuable form of affordable housing in Nova Scotia," said Minister Peterson-Rafuse. "These renovation and retrofit projects will improve the quality of life for residents by keeping their homes safe and affordable. We are happy to be able to support them and make life better for the families living in co-op communities."

Work on the project will include new roofs, windows, doors, and bathrooms. The funding recipient, the North End United Housing Co-operative Limited, is the province's newest and largest housing co-op. It was created by the merger of Anathoth Housing Co-operative, Charles Court Housing Co-operative, Jim MacDonald Housing Co-operative, and Seaview Housing Co-operative.

The $3.1 million funding was made available as a result of a $110-million joint investment to create new and renovate existing social housing under an amendment to the Canada - Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Agreement, which includes funding through Canada's Economic Action Plan and by the Government of Nova Scotia.

"This $3.1 million investment in co-operative housing by the federal and provincial governments is an excellent example of stimulus funding that works. The amalgamated housing co-op will get needed upgrades and repairs; the individuals and families who live there will benefit; the community will keep secure and energy efficient housing and the project will create jobs and stimulate the local economy," said Karla Skoutajan, Director, Sector Development of CHF Canada. "The amalgamation of four smaller housing co-ops into the North End United Housing Co-operative strengthened the co-ops' ability to seek and benefit from this important funding."

To date, under the Affordable Housing Program, more than 1,200 affordable housing units have been created or preserved around Nova Scotia. For more information on these projects, visit www.gov.ns.ca/coms/affordablehousing.

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.

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, 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.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Kristen Tynes, Community Services, (902) 424-4038, tyneskja@gov.ns.ca; Giselle Thibault, CMHC, (902) 426-8320, gthibaul@cmhc.ca


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