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Canada - B.C. Social Housing Agreement Signed

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 19, 2006 — The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, on behalf of the Government of Canada, and the Honourable Rich Coleman, B.C. Minister responsible for Housing, announced an agreement to transfer the administration of social housing resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of British Columbia.

"Canada's new Government is proud to be assisting our provincial partners to ensure that affordable housing in British Columbia is available to those most in need," said Minister Finley.

The transfer will help streamline and simplify administration in B.C and allow the province to provide access to housing services through one-window delivery. The province can use savings generated through the efficient use of federal funds to maintain the existing stock and to reinvest in housing for low income people.

Over the term of the 30-year agreement, the Government of Canada will provide annual funding to the province to support existing social housing units. In the first full year of the agreement, the federal government will transfer $140 million to B.C.

"We want to ensure that we help as many people as possible with our housing resources in B.C.," said Minister Coleman. "With the Province now responsible for the vast majority of social housing we can make sure that every unit we have is targeted to British Columbians who need it most."

There are approximately 72,500 federally-assisted social housing units in B.C. which receive funding from the Government of Canada. This agreement covers some 51,600 units of which about 27,400 of these are already administered by the province. Approximately 12,650 co-operative housing units will remain with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as well as just over 5,000 housing units on-reserve.

The Province intends to transfer administration of 2,660 off-reserve Aboriginal social housing units to the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA). In 2004, B.C. became the first province in Canada to transfer management of Aboriginal social housing to the Aboriginal community, when 189 units of provincial Aboriginal housing were transferred to AHMA.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

BC Housing is a provincial crown agency that develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options for those in greatest need. For more information, visit www.bchousing.org or call 1-800-257-7756.

Contact:

Colleen Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
613-796-4349
Max Cleeveley
Communications Director
B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range,
and Minister Responsible for Housing
250-387-8486
Christine Choury
Chief, Media Relations
CMHC
613-742-5344

Backgrounder

Highlights of the Social Housing Agreement between Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and B.C. Housing Management Commission

Overview

New Directions

1. Transfer of Programs

2. Principles

Implementation

1. Authorities and Responsibilities

2. Rights of Third Parties

3. Federal Funding

4. Accountability

The Honourable Diane Finley and Honourable Rich Coleman sign an agreement

The Honourable Diane Finley and the Honourable Rich Coleman sign an agreement to transfer the administration of social housing resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of British Columbia.