Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

December 14, 2011 09:35 ET

Building Redesign and Improvements Meet Social Housing Need

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2011) - The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced today the completion of a $495,000 reconfiguration housing project on Mundy Pond Road in St. John's. A six-bedroom duplex has been remodelled into four, one-bedroom apartments for single adults living on low-income.

The equally cost-shared federal and provincial funding for this current project was allocated through the Affordable Housing Trust fund ($383,000) and Canada's Economic Action Plan: Renovation and Retrofit of Social Housing ($112,000). This is the second reconfiguration project undertaken by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) as part of an innovative pilot project aimed at meeting the changing demographic need for social housing, particularly in urban centres through the restructuring of existing social housing properties.

"The Government of Canada is proud to have been a partner in the renovation and retrofit of these apartments," said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "With the completion of the work, low-income individuals can now access affordable rental housing that meets their needs".

"I am delighted to announce the completion of this second reconfiguration project-these homes will definitely improve the ability to meet the changing and challenging housing needs of smaller families and single adults through our existing provincial social housing portfolio," said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. "For some time now we have been looking for innovative ways to achieve this goal, and we would like to see more of these conversions undertaken because they do make a positive difference."

The provincial government invested $1 million to research and develop options to address the changing demographic need for social housing. The goal is to restructure under-used units into homes that meet the demographic need for smaller homes, and in the process, to yield at least one additional unit within the same space. Similarly in Corner Brook, NLHC remodelled a duplex on Wheeler's Road into three one- and two-bedroom apartments. Both reconfiguration projects were undertaken in low-density neighbourhoods with consideration for suitable parking and access.

In September 2008, the Government of Canada committed to a five-year investment of more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness to address the needs of low-income Canadians, those at risk of homelessness, and the homeless. This included a two-year renewal of the Affordable Housing Initiative and renovation programs until March 31, 2011 with a commitment to consult on the use of the investments for the 2011-2014 period. The initial phase of the Canada's Economic Action Plan built on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada's Economic Action Plan provided $850 million to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing.

On August 16, 2011, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador signed a new $41-million cost-shared affordable housing agreement. Funding under the new Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 will continue to reduce the number of households in housing need.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada, through CMHC, is 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, call 1-800-O Canada or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

A Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - Secure Foundations, released by the provincial government in August 2009, outlines a long-term vision for social housing. It is aimed at improving the housing circumstances of low-income households and helping to create healthier communities. Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador also allocated $25.9 million for social housing infrastructure, including $10.4 million for maintenance and $12 million for renovations and improvements.

NLHC is the province's largest landlord with approximately 5,573 non-profit social housing dwellings province-wide.

Contact Information

  • Jason Card
    Director of Communications
    Department of Transportation and Works
    709-729-3015
    709-699-0470
    jasoncard@gov.nl.ca

    Katherine LeBlanc
    Consultant, Communications
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    902-426-6581
    krleblan@cmhc.ca

    Jenny Bowring
    Manager, Communications
    Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
    709-724-3055
    jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

    Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley
    819-994-2482