Fund­ing for af­ford­able hous­ing

19 units to be con­structed in Con­cep­tion Bay North

The Compass - - OPINION -

An in­vest­ment by the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments is help­ing cre­ate 19 new af­ford­able hous­ing units in Con­cep­tion Bay North.

In a joint an­nounce­ment made last month, the gov­ern­ments of Canada and New­found­land and Labrador al­lo­cated some $8.5 mil­lion to cre­ate new af­ford­able hous­ing through­out the prov­ince, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the pri­vate sec­tor.

Of this, some $760,000 is ear­marked for this re­gion. They in­clude the fol­low­ing:

• $200,000 for IDAM Hold­ings Ltd. in Bay Roberts to con­struct five hous­ing units;

• $320,000 for South­side Es­tates in Car­bon­ear to con­struct eight hous­ing units;

• and $240,000 for Har­bourview Homes in Har­bour Grace to con­struct six hous­ing units.

Over­all, this in­vest­ment sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of 207 new af­ford­able homes for se­niors, fam­i­lies and sin­gle peo­ple with low in­comes and per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

“Through in­vest­ments in af­ford­able hous­ing, our gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to those who need it most,” said Peter Pe­nashue, Min­is­ter of In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Af­fairs and Re­gional Min­is­ter of New­found­land and Labrador. “We are com­mit­ted to mak­ing com­mu­ni­ties stronger through projects like these. These in­vest­ments help cre­ate new jobs and stim­u­late the lo­cal econ­omy, while pro­vid­ing more ac­cess to safe, af­ford­able homes for Cana­dian se­niors, fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als.”

More than $16 mil­lion in fund­ing has been made avail­able for new af­ford­able hous­ing projects as part of the $41 mil­lion Canada-new­found­land and Labrador Agree­ment for In­vest­ment in Af­ford­able Hous­ing 2011-14, an­nounced last Au­gust.

“Work­ing with our pri­vate sec­tor com­mu­nity part­ners has proven to be an ex­cel­lent way to de­velop more af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions for peo­ple with low in­comes,” said Tom Hed­der­son, Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for New­found­land and Labrador Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

“We are com­mit­ted to mak­ing com­mu­ni­ties

stronger through projects like these.”

– Peter Pe­nashue

“These projects are great ex­am­ples of how the pri­vate sec­tor can help es­tab­lish high-qual­ity and af­ford­able hous­ing through­out the prov­ince.”

An af­ford­able hous­ing pro­posal call made in 2011 has pro­vided 36 pri­vate and non-profit com­mu­nity part­ners the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate 254 new af­ford­able hous­ing units through­out New­found­land and Labrador, in­clud­ing 71 fully ac­ces­si­ble dwellings. By 2014, ap­prox­i­mately 1,100 new af­ford­able hous­ing units will have been de­vel­oped un­der this com­bined fed­eral and pro­vin­cial in­vest­ment.

Na­tion­ally, New­found­land and Labrador is lead­ing the way with re­spect to ac­ces­si­bil­ity by be­ing the first prov­ince to re­quire the use of Univer­sal De­sign stan­dards for all projects ap­proved un­der the re­cent af­ford­able hous­ing pro­posal call. Fea­tures of Univer­sal De­sign in­clude, but are not limited to, step-free en­trances, open floor plans, wider door­ways and halls, slip-re­sis­tant floors, lever door han­dles, grab bars in bath­rooms, and rocker light switches ver­sus tog­gle.

Univer­sal De­sign is now a manda­tory re­quire­ment on all af­ford­able hous­ing projects funded in the prov­ince. This is in ad­di­tion to hav­ing one unit in each project that will be fully ac­ces­si­ble. The goal is to make ac­cess more con­ve­nient to as many peo­ple, at as many stages of life as pos­si­ble.

A key ob­jec­tive for the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is to stim­u­late the de­vel­op­ment of af­ford­able rental hous­ing by the pri­vate, public and non-profit sec­tors. A pri­or­ity is placed on de­vel­op­ing rental hous­ing for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, se­niors, and those who re­quire sup­ports to live in­de­pen­dently in the com­mu­nity.

This work is in keep­ing with A So­cial Hous­ing Plan for New­found­land and Labrador - Se­cure Foun­da­tions, re­leased by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment in Au­gust 2009, which out­lines a long-term vi­sion for so­cial hous­ing. It is aimed at im­prov­ing the hous­ing cir­cum­stances of peo­ple with low in­comes and help­ing cre­ate health­ier com­mu­ni­ties.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada, through CMHC, will in­vest more than $2 bil­lion in hous­ing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 bil­lion will be spent in sup­port of al­most 615,000 house­holds liv­ing in ex­ist­ing so­cial hous­ing.

In New­found­land and Labrador, this rep­re­sents some 12,500 house­holds. These in­vest­ments are im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for Cana­di­ans with low in­comes 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.

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 1-800668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca

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