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Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Housing Announce a New Framework for Affordable Housing

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 04, 2011 — Today, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for housing announced a $1.4 billion combined investment toward reducing the number of Canadians in housing need under a new Affordable Housing Framework 2011 – 2014.

The Framework recognizes the diversity of affordable housing needs of Canadians and that a range of solutions — from existing programs to new approaches — is the most effective in meeting local needs and priorities. It is also recognized that under this Framework provinces and territories have responsibility for the design and delivery of affordable housing programs in order to address their own specific housing needs and priorities in their jurisdictions. Accordingly, each province and territory is working towards a bilateral agreement to respond to the program needs in each jurisdiction; in these arrangements, federal funding will be matched by provincial, territorial and other contributions, and governments will report to their citizens on outcomes.

Under the new Framework, provinces and territories have the flexibility to invest in a range of programs and initiatives designed to achieve the overall intended outcome: to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need by improving access to affordable housing that is sound, suitable and sustainable.  Initiatives under the Framework can include new construction, renovation, homeownership assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances, and accommodations for victims of family violence.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) along with the Honourable Jonathan Denis, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Province of Alberta; Co-Chair of the Federal – Provincial – Territorial Housing Ministers Forum; and on behalf of the provinces and territories, expressed their satisfaction with the new Framework.

“Our government is committed to working with its partners to develop and implement solutions to housing,” said Minister Finley. “This Framework recognizes the need for local solutions to housing challenges and the importance of reporting progress on outcomes.”

“Our success in helping Canadians in need find and keep affordable housing is a direct result of partnerships across all orders of government and with private sector partners,” said Minister Denis. “This framework builds on existing successes and contributes to the creation of cost-effective programs that will address housing needs at the local level.”

In September 2008, the Government of Canada committed to a five-year investment of more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness. The five-year investment, which began in 2009, included a two-year renewal of the Affordable Housing Initiative and various renovation programs. Provinces and territories made additional contributions to the two-year federal investment to address the housing needs of low-income Canadians.

Although Québec generally agrees with the principles and objective of the Framework, adhering to this Framework and its implementation will follow once the bilateral agreement is concluded between CMHC and the Société d’habitation du Québec.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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