EDMONTON, Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Together, the Governments of Canada and Alberta today announced $160 million over four years to support major renovations or replacements of seniors lodge properties outside of Alberta's major urban centres.
As the demand for seniors housing units grows in smaller communities, this multi-year funding commitment from the Canada-Alberta Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) 2014-2019 will support renovations and additions to rural seniors lodges. The Alberta government will work with housing management bodies to complete a full evaluation of seniors lodges to determine priority projects.
"One of our most pressing priorities is to ensure seniors have the opportunity to age with dignity in the communities they helped build, surrounded by friends and family. Increasing the number and quality of the spaces available in rural communities will help keep seniors in their hometowns where they feel connected and secure," said Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta.
"Our Investment in Affordable Housing allows flexibility so that provinces can direct our substantial federal investments towards their local priorities. We're pleased to partner with Alberta on this important initiative so that seniors living in rural communities have access to quality, affordable housing, close to their families, neighbours and the services they need," said the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development).
"Nearly 70 per cent of all seniors lodge units are in communities outside of Alberta's major centres. Multi-year investments like this are critical to ensuring aging properties are appropriately maintained or replaced," said Jeff Johnson, Alberta Minister of Seniors.
An extension to the Canada-Alberta Agreement for IAH was announced earlier this year to help more seniors, low-income Albertans, and families meet their housing needs. This renewed agreement will see $202 million in joint funding made available for seniors housing through 2019.
Under the IAH, the Province of Alberta has the flexibility to design and deliver a range of affordable housing programs to address local housing needs and priorities. Priorities for this funding will include adding new housing supply as well as the regeneration of the seniors' lodge portfolio.
In the last four years, the Alberta government has dedicated more than $220 million towards seniors' housing across the province. This includes $144.5 million in federal-provincial funding to renew and expand 14 lodges. Renovation projects and replacement units funded by the IAH in 2012-13 include government-owned lodges in Boyle, Camrose, Canmore, Drayton Valley, Forestburg and Milk River.
November 22nd is National Housing Day—celebrate with CMHC. Through partnerships at every level, we are helping Canadians meet their housing needs. Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. These investments improve the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019. The plan also includes a number of measures the Government of Canada will be taking to support apprentices and the training of skilled labour.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC help Canadians meet their housing needs, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.
For more information on Alberta's housing support, visit www.seniors.alberta.ca
SOURCE: Alberta Public Affairs Bureau
For further information: Media contacts: Jenny Renner, Press Secretary, Alberta Seniors, 780-862-2957, [email protected]; Charles Daniel Mainville, Communications, CMHC, 403-515-2915, [email protected]