Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

November 29, 2013 10:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Low-Income Housing in Moose Jaw

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Nov. 29, 2013) - Families in Moose Jaw will have improved access to safe and affordable homes with the conversion of commercial space located at 12 High Street East to create 40 new rental-housing units. The renovations are being made possible by a joint investment from the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan.

Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development); along with the Honourable June Draude, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, made the announcement today.

"Projects like the conversion of the Walter Scott Building are very important when it comes to increasing access to affordable housing," said MP Boughen. "When complete, this new development will bring 40 more affordable rental units to Moose Jaw and a new place to call home for families in this community. We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care about most: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security."

"We are proud to collaborate with our housing partners to ensure that more Saskatchewan people have access to a safe, quality home, which is one of the basic necessities of life," said Minister Draude. "As Saskatchewan continues to grow, much is being done to address housing challenges in communities across the province. This project is another success story as we work together to increase housing supply and, most importantly, support individuals and families in greatest housing need."

"Our vision with each and every project is to enhance our clients' lives and supplement our communities by providing a sustainable and affordable solution for their rental needs," said Shaheen Zareh, President of Zarkor Construction Ltd. "With the help of the federal and provincial governments, we are able to do that at the Walter Scott Building in the friendly city of Moose Jaw."

Presently, the six-storey office building consists of commercial development on the main floor and five floors of vacant commercial space. This conversion initiative will create 40 new rental units on the five vacant floors for low-income families: 10 bachelor suites, 15 one-bedroom suites and 15 two-bedroom suites. Commercial development will remain on the main floor of the building.

The approximate cost of the building conversion is $2.76 million. The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Province of Saskatchewan, through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) contributed a combined investment of $1.2 million. Owner contributions in the amount of $1.56 million make up the remainder of the project cost.

This funding comes as a result of the $55 million Canada-Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) 2011-2014 Agreement. Under the agreement, the Province of Saskatchewan will use the funds to create new and renovate existing affordable housing for households in need.

Annually, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Saskatchewan, this represents an estimated 28,000 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the Investment in Affordable Housing. These investments are improving 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 Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.

In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the Government's vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The Plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Under the Plan, the province has invested $344 million to help create 12,600 new housing units and repair or upgrade approximately 24,000 more housing units around the province.

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-schl.gc.ca.

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