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Minister Solberg Meets with Provincial-Territorial Counterparts

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 03, 2008 — The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) met yesterday with provincial and territorial ministers responsible for housing to discuss the way forward on housing issues.

“In February, I committed to meet with the provincial and territorial Ministers and I’m pleased we had the opportunity to meet yesterday,” said Minister Solberg. “Our discussions were a positive step towards achieving a better understanding of the housing needs and priorities across Canada. Addressing the issues of housing and homelessness is a shared challenge that requires the engagement of all levels of government. I will continue to meet and work together with my provincial and territorial colleagues and stakeholders, as we move forward.”

Minister Solberg noted that the federal government will invest more on affordable and supportive housing this year than any other government in history.

“While we have and continue to invest, we need to look at our current programs to ensure that these are effective ways to move forward to make a real difference and achieve concrete results,” he added. A federal-provincial-territorial working group is currently examining the physical and financial state of the existing social housing stock and evaluations of the Affordable Housing Initiative and renovation programs are underway.

To date, the federal government has invested $1.4 billion in three provincial and territorial housing trusts to address short term pressures on the supply of affordable housing, over three years. Through the federal-provincial Affordable Housing Initiative, the government is investing $1 billion, which is matched by provinces, territories and others, including municipalities and community groups.

This is in addition to the $1.7 billion Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) spends annually in support of close to 630,000 lower income households across Canada and the two-year, $526 million investment in two initiatives — the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy, aimed at combating homelessness in communities across Canada; and the extension of CMHC's renovation programs for low-income people, including Aboriginal peoples.

As well, in April 2007, the federal government created a $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund; this is in addition to the annual spending on social housing and renovation on-reserve. This innovative approach will improve housing on-reserve, increase the housing supply and provide First Nations families and individuals with a means to build equity and generate wealth.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

Media inquiries:

Lesley Harmer
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Tel.: 819-994-2482

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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