REGINA, April 18, 2019 /CNW/ - Families, Indigenous communities and vulnerable Canadians in need of an affordable place to call home can count on long-term funding for community housing in Saskatchewan as a result of an agreement signed today by the federal and provincial governments.
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Paul Merriman, Minister of Social Services, Saskatchewan, today announced they have reached a bilateral agreement under the National Housing Strategy (NHS). This agreement, which will be cost-shared by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, demonstrates a joint commitment to prioritize affordable housing.
The 10-year agreement will invest more than $449.9 million to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and support Saskatchewan's priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will also work together on the design and implementation of a new Canada Housing Benefit for the province, to provide affordability support directly to families and individuals in housing need. The new agreement marks the beginning of a partnership that will be supported by long-term and predictable funding starting immediately.
This is a progressive housing agreement that commits the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to new and higher standards of transparency, public engagement, and housing quality, including improved energy efficiency and accessibility. The agreement also acknowledges the importance of prioritizing people most in need, incorporating a human rights-based approach to housing, and applying a gender lens to all investments.
"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Long-term, predictable funding for housing has been needed for more than a decade. Today, with the Saskatchewan Government, we have taken a significant step toward our goal of building strong communities where Canadian families can prosper and thrive, now and for the future." – The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"This agreement is an outstanding example of how governments have more impact when they co-operate and work together. Together, we can help to open doors to many more opportunities and, most importantly, support those in greatest housing need. Our Government remains committed to representing the housing needs of Saskatchewan people as we work collaboratively with the Federal Government to deliver the initiatives under the National Housing Strategy." – Honourable Paul Merriman, Minister of Social Services, Saskatchewan
The $449.9 million investment includes almost $225 million from the Government of Canada and $225 million from the Government of Saskatchewan.
These investments are in addition to almost $593.6 million previously planned federal housing investments in Saskatchewan through the Social Housing Agreement (SHA) over the next 10 years. In addition to new construction, combined investments under the NHS bilateral agreement and the SHA will target the preservation of at least 16,448 existing community housing units in Saskatchewan.
The NHS is an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion+ plan that will reduce or eliminate 530,000 families from housing need across Canada, create 125,000 new housing units, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
Thanks to new investments proposed in Budget 2019, Canada's National Housing Strategy will be a 10-year, $55 billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
The new measures proposed in Budget 2019 will build on the Government's previous investments to enhance housing affordability for those who need it most.
The NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, and people with lived experience of housing need.
All NHS investments delivered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will respect the key principles of the NHS that support partnerships, people and communities.
The Government of Saskatchewan will develop and publish three-year action plans, beginning in 2019-2020, setting targets and outlining how it will use federal and cost-matched funding to achieve the desired outcomes.
Since November 2015, the federal government has invested more than $421 million in housing in Saskatchewan.
As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
For further information: Media contacts: Valérie Glazer, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Duclos, 819-654-5546, [email protected]; Leonard Catling, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 604-787-1787, [email protected]; Leya Moore, Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services, 306-787-3610, [email protected]