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Ministers Discuss New Investments in Housing Programs

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 16, 2003 — Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for housing met in Winnipeg today and agreed to continue working on investments in affordable housing and renovation programs. All Ministers agreed that progress has been made in increasing the availability of affordable housing and made a renewed commitment to consult on approaches to improve housing conditions of Canadians.

The Honourable David Collenette, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), co-chaired the meeting with the Honourable Drew Caldwell, Manitoba Minister of Family Services and Housing and Minister Responsible for the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation. Mr. Collenette and Mr. Caldwell were joined at the meeting by the Honourable Steven Mahoney, the newly appointed federal Secretary of State for Selected Crown Corporations, including CMHC.

"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to affordable housing," said Mr. Collenette. "We have confirmed our commitment to further our investment in housing in the 2003 federal budget with an additional $320 million for affordable housing, and a $384 million extension of renovation programs which help low-income Canadians." Provinces and territories welcomed these new investments.

"While our work continues to strengthen families and build communities through the creation of more affordable housing, it is important to acknowledge recent progress between the federal, provincial and territorial governments in this area," said Mr. Caldwell. "As partners, we can better focus resources on low and moderate income people and families, those who most need affordable housing."

Bilateral provincial and territorial affordable housing agreements have been negotiated with the federal government, following the $680 million in federal funding announced in 2001. Provinces, territories and other partners are matching the $680 million. Many affordable housing projects funded through these agreements have already been completed, while others are under construction. The Ministers recognized the need to commence and complete projects as soon as possible.

Other topics were discussed, including rural, remote, Aboriginal and supportive housing, mortgage insurance, and long-term affordable housing initiatives. The Ministers agreed to work together to examine possible tax measures, including capital gains roll-over provisions, for consideration by their respective Ministers of Finance.1

Ministers also recognized the need for flexibility to address the unique needs and challenges facing rural, remote, northern and Aboriginal communities.

Nova Scotia is pleased to assume the role of co-chair of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Housing for the next year.

Further Information:

Amy Butcher
Minister Collenette's Office
(613) 991-0700

Peter De Barros
(613) 794-8828

Peter Dalla-Vicenza
Cabinet Communications - Manitoba
(204) 945-1494

John Thorpe
Communications Services Manitoba
(204) 945-6778

1In the absence of the Quebec Minister Responsible for Housing, Quebec is not taking a position on this issue.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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