News release, November 28, 2013 - Through the combined efforts of the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan and Cress Housing Corporation, repairs have been completed on three rental properties located at 1705 and 1709 - 22nd Street West and 1911 - 7th Street East in Saskatoon. This project will provide 51 affordable rental housing units for low-income tenants in the three properties owned by Cress Housing Corporation. Kelly Block, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and MP for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude, made the announcement today.
“Our government is investing in affordable housing in Saskatoon to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for Aboriginal households who need it most,” said Block. “We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care about most: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security.”
“Our goal is to help individuals and families in most housing need, and I am pleased that the rejuvenation of these rental properties supports that,” Draude said. “We know that maintaining our existing stock of rental properties is necessary in order to meet the growing housing needs in this province. We are proud to work with the Government of Canada and Cress Housing Corporation to make these improvements and improve the quality of life of the tenants who live there.”
“The ongoing need for good, affordable homes in Saskatoon certainly reflects the need for further investment,” Saskatoon Tribal Council Tribal Chief Felix Thomas said. “These apartment blocks are quality units that show our capacity to create and operate much needed affordable housing options in the city.”
The approximate cost of the renovations is $1.5 million. The federal and provincial governments are jointly contributing $1.2 million under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 (IAH) Agreement toward the project with the balance of the funding provided by Cress Housing Corporation in the form of cash equity. Cress Housing is an affordable housing organization for First Nations that operates under the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
Prior to the repairs, the three buildings were vacant and the suites were seriously deteriorated. As a result of the renovations, 51 suites have been returned to the market and will provide quality and affordable housing to low-income households. Repairs included installation of new boilers, intercom/security cameras, fire alarm systems, roof repairs, window replacement, exterior doors, suite upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms, flooring and painting.
This funding comes as a result of the $55 million Canada-Saskatchewan IAH 2011-2014 Agreement. Under the agreement, the Province of Saskatchewan will use the funds to create new and renovate existing affordable housing for households in need.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), will invest approximately $2 billion in housing. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Saskatchewan, this represents an estimated 28,000 households. The remaining funding supports housing-related activities and affordable housing programs, including the IAH. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. Economic Action Plan 2013 continues this commitment with a federal investment of more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the IAH to 2019. The Government of Canada will ensure that funds provided to provinces and territories support the use of apprentices, which will support training of skilled labour. More than 146,769 households across Canada are no longer in housing need as a result of funding provided under the IAH from April 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
In October 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, which sets out the government’s vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020. The plan identifies principles, goals and actions to ensure Saskatchewan is capturing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of a growing province. Under the plan, the province has invested $344 million to help create 12,600 new housing units and repair or upgrade approximately 24,000 more housing units around the province.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.
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