Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

September 06, 2011 15:30 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Reach Agreement on Delivery of Investments for Canadians in Housing Need

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2011) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan today announced a combined investment of more than $55 million under a new affordable housing agreement that will continue to reduce the number of households in housing need.

The agreement comes as a result of the recently announced Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Framework Agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The Framework recognizes the diversity of affordable housing needs of Canadians and that a range of solutions – from existing programs to new approaches – is most effective in meeting local needs and priorities. Under this Framework, provinces and territories have responsibility for the design and delivery of affordable housing programs in order to address their own specific housing needs and priorities in their jurisdictions.

The Province will fully cost-match the federal funding and deliver provincially-designed housing programs. The agreement provides the Province with the flexibility to make investments to achieve the overall objective of the Framework: to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need by improving access to affordable housing that is sound, suitable and sustainable. Initiatives can include new construction, renovation, homeownership assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances, and accommodations for victims of family violence. Under the new agreement, the Province of Saskatchewan will use the funds to create new and renovate existing affordable housing for households in need.

Both orders of government will report annually to the public regarding the investments and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes of the initiative.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State, Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) along with the Honourable June Draude, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, made the announcement today.

"Our government is committed to working with the Province of Saskatchewan to develop and implement solutions to housing," said Minister Yelich. "This agreement recognizes the need for local solutions to housing challenges."

"We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada to ensure that affordable housing programs will continue to meet the needs of Saskatchewan people," Minister Draude said. "Collaboration is a key ingredient in creating a Saskatchewan where everyone has a place to call home. This investment will allow the federal and provincial governments to move forward together in creating housing solutions."

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.

In the fall of 2009, federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as municipalities, public and private stakeholders, engaged on how best to use federal funding from 2011 to 2014. Federal, provincial and territorial housing ministers also met in December 2009 to discuss the future of these investments.

The federal investments announced today are part of the Government of Canada's $1.9 billion commitment for housing and homelessness programs announced in 2008. 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.

For more information on the Government of Saskatchewan's housing programs, visit: http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/housing.

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.

INVESTMENT IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING 2011-2014 FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

Introduction

Stable, affordable and good quality housing contributes to positive outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Housing influences many aspects of life: individual health and wellbeing, educational achievement, social connections, labour market attachment, and community identity. From a broader economic perspective, the housing sector provides employment, creates investment opportunities, and stimulates and supports economic activity.

This Framework establishes the approach that will guide bilateral arrangements for the combined affordable and renovation housing funding envelope of federal housing funds between 2011 and 2014.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are continuing to work together in many ways to address the needs of households in Canada with respect to affordable, sound, suitable and sustainable housing.

Nothing in this document shall be construed to derogate from the respective governments' jurisdictional responsibilities.

Vision

A balanced approach to housing is a tool to promote economic and social independence, personal accountability, and meaningful individual choice. Good housing is required to meet basic human needs while developing individual resources and capabilities to achieve positive longer-term outcomes such as self-reliance for individuals and families. This vision promotes healthier people, stronger neighbourhoods, a greener environment, and safe, quality, affordable housing. Within this Framework, federal, provincial and territorial governments recognize that:

• A continuum of program responses is required to respond successfully to the differing needs of households across their life courses.

• Sustainable practices to housing responses, such as enhancing the energy efficiency of housing, not only value and respect the environment but also help realize savings that improve housing affordability over the long term.

• Partnerships among federal, provincial and territorial governments will help provinces and territories work with community groups, individuals and the private sector to strengthen housing conditions in their jurisdictions.

Objective

The objective of this Framework is to improve the living conditions of Canadians in need by improving access to affordable, sound, suitable and sustainable housing.

Intended Outcome

The overall intended outcome of this Framework is to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need by improving access to affordable housing that is sound, suitable and sustainable for Canadians in need.

Spending Categories

Housing responses may vary depending upon market conditions and housing needs. Investments that flow under this Framework will support housing responses in one of the following areas of action:

1. Increase the supply of affordable housing across Canada. Initiatives may include new construction or conversion, and homeownership or rental, all targeted to households in need.

2. Improve housing affordability for vulnerable Canadians. Initiatives may include rent supplements, shelter allowances to address affordable housing needs, and homeownership assistance, all targeted to households in need.

3. Improve and/or preserve the quality of affordable housing. Initiatives may include renovation and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing to improve and preserve the quality of affordable housing for households in need (excluding existing social housing stock under F/P/T long-term agreements).

4. Foster safe independent living. Support for new housing construction, housing modifications and renovations that extend independent living for households in need being seniors and persons with disabilities. Initiatives may also include accommodations for victims of family violence.

Principles

Federal, provincial and territorial governments recognize that initiatives that respond to identified and demonstrated needs, and that are built on the best evidence of what works, produce the best desired outcomes. Achieving success requires cooperation and respect for one another's roles and responsibilities, and a clear understanding of funding relationships.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments agree that the following principles will guide the arrangements between federal, provincial and territorial governments for housing investments that flow under this Framework.

• P/Ts have responsibility for the design and delivery of affordable housing programs in order to address their own specific needs and priorities.

• P/Ts require flexibility to address PTs' specific affordable housing needs and priorities. Flexibility to move federal funds between years is subject to CMHC approval.

• Federal contributions may be used for upfront capital contributions or ongoing subsidies. Contributions by Others (provincial/territorial government, non-profits, municipalities, private sector) must be equal to or greater than the envelope of federal contributions.

• Housing supported under this Framework and related bilateral agreements will be modest in terms of size and amenities and will remain affordable for ten years or a mutually agreed upon period of time.

• Energy efficiency and water conservation measures will be promoted wherever possible in order to reduce the environmental impact of housing, such as greenhouse gas emissions and to improve housing affordability.

• Governments must be accountable to the public for the use of public funds through an open and transparent process which identifies expected outcomes, measures performance, reports on results to the public and provides for follow-up. In this context, each government is responsible for reporting annually to the public regarding the investments and achievement of intended outcomes under this Framework. The information provided by P/Ts, which will be agreed upon in the bilateral agreements, will enable the federal government to be accountable to Canadians.

• Administrative requirements must be streamlined so as not to adversely impact program delivery.

• Bilateral arrangements are to include a communications protocol providing for joint communications activities and products as well as open, transparent, effective and timely communications that equitably reflect the contributions of federal, provincial and territorial partners.

• Copies of signed bilateral agreements will be distributed to Provinces and Territories for information purposes. Any revisions or addendums to agreements granted by the federal government to a P/T under this Framework would, upon request, be extended to each Province and Territory who so wishes.

Bilateral Arrangements

This Framework will serve as the basis for bilateral arrangements between the federal government represented by CMHC and each Province or Territory who so chooses. Federal funding flow will be conditional on bilateral arrangements pursuant to this Framework that are signed with a Province or Territory. Where a Province or Territory does not conclude bilateral arrangements under this Framework, federal funding will flow through the extension of existing arrangements (AHI and renovation programs).

Contact Information

  • Charles Sauriol
    CMHC Media Relations
    613-748-2799

    Alyson Queen
    Office of Minister Finley
    819-994-2482

    Linda Saliken
    Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
    306-787-0246
    linda.saliken@gov.sk.ca