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Canada and Yukon Sign Affordable Housing Agreement

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, October 3, 2002 — David Collenette, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation together with Pam Buckway, Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation today announced a Canada-Yukon Affordable Housing Agreement. As a result, approximately 400 affordable housing units will be created or preserved in the Yukon, over the next five years.

Federal funding of $5.5 million together with matching contributions from the Yukon Territory, demonstrates a commitment to work together to address the need for affordable housing.

"More residents of the Yukon will be able to gain access to affordable housing thanks to this agreement we are signing today," said Minister Collenette "This tenth bilateral agreement, signed in the past ten months, confirms the Government of Canada's commitment to providing strong, safe communities throughout the Yukon and, in fact, all of Canada. It also shows that partnerships between two levels of government can work effectively to achieve commonly held goals."

"We are encouraged by the willingness of the Government of Canada to provide funding which can address the specific housing needs of Yukoners. We will be able to provide new social housing as well as preserve existing homes, particularly in rural Yukon." said Minister Buckway.

"Today`s agreement will make an important difference for people in need of affordable housing in Yukon." said Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon.

Funding under this agreement will be used for two territorially designed programs. Programs that will support the creation of new social housing and major home repairs on affordable housing that would otherwise be lost from the stock.

Stimulating the creation of more affordable housing was part of the Government of Canada's, Speech From the Throne, in January 2001 and the $680 million in federal funding was confirmed in the December 2001 federal budget. The federal investment of $680 million over five years will result in an estimated 27,000 affordable housing units.

Persons and organizations interested in more details on this initiative should contact Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC).

For further information please contact:

Anthony Polci
Communications Director
Office of Minister Collenette
(613) 991-0700
Bernie Adilman
Cabinet Communications Advisor
(867) 667-8075
bernie.adilman@gov.yk.ca

Government of Canada Background: Affordable Housing Initiative

The 2001 Speech From the Throne indicated the Government of Canada would help stimulate the creation of more affordable rental housing. The federal/provincial/territorial housing ministers met twice to finalize details of an affordable housing initiative that would address the needs and priorities of individual jurisdictions while meeting the goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing. The final framework was developed and agreed to on November 30, 2001 and includes the following:

  • Provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for design and housing program delivery;
  • Provinces and territories require flexible programs to address their housing needs;
  • The initiative needs to create affordable housing for low to moderate income households and;
  • Units funded will remain affordable for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Provinces and territories will be required to match federal contributions overall

To date bilateral agreements have been signed with British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

Other Government of Canada Housing Support in the Yukon Territory

The $5.5 million federal contribution over the next five years builds on current Government of Canada housing activities in the Yukon Territory. The Government of Canada annually supports housing with approximately $8.0 million in grants, contributions and subsidies which serve some 1,000 low income families, seniors, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people and victims of domestic violence.

This includes funding for existing social housing and for the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI), Emergency Repair Program (ERP) and the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP).

Yukon Government Background: Affordable Housing Initiative

Through its Accountability Plan, Yukon Housing Corporation has a primary responsibility of assisting people to meet their housing needs. This is accomplished through improving the quality of housing and providing Social Housing to serve the changing needs of clients. Current statistical research indicates that Yukon's seniors population is growing and this generates unique challenges for Yukon Housing Corporation. In addition, the Community Housing Studies which were completed in 2000 provide a current assessment of housing in the Yukon. These studies indicate that a substantial number of homes in rural Yukon are in need of major repair. The Affordable Housing Agreement will enable Yukon Housing Corporation to provide new resources to address the identified housing needs of low-income Yukoners.

Affordable Housing Program Agreement Summary

Objectives:

  • to increase the supply of affordable housing in Yukon
  • the housing must be affordable for at least 10 years

Programs:

Funding under this agreement will be used to:

  • create new affordable social housing units
  • preserve the existing stock of affordable housing

Administration:

  • the program(s) will be administered by Yukon Housing Corporation
  • Yukon is responsible for the selection of projects

Financial Provisions:

  • Maximum CMHC funding under the agreement is $5.5 million to be matched by the Yukon and others
  • Overall average CMHC funding will not exceed $25,000 per unit

Accountability:

  • Yukon will provide an annual audit and performance report on the use of CMHC funding
  • CMHC will lead an evaluation of the program in 2006 and YHC will be invited to participate

Communications:

  • Yukon and CMHC have agreed on a communications protocol which will be open, transparent and will recognize the contributions of each party to this initiative

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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