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Posted June 10 , 2013

Affordable Housing

Government of Canada reaffirms support for affordable housing

Calgary - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, Dr. Kellie Leitch, has addressed the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada's 2013 Annual General Meeting, reiterating the importance of partnerships to address housing needs.

"Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2013 announced our government's continued commitment to working with provinces and territories to develop and implement solutions to housing by proposing more than $1.25 billion in federal funding over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019," said Dr. Leitch.

"This year, through CMHC, the federal government will invest approximately $2 billion for housing. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians, individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, low income seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people," added Dr. Leitch.

This includes providing ongoing assistance for close to 594,000 families living in existing social housing, including co-operative housing. It includes the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), a collaborative initiative with the provinces and territories to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need, as well as funding to improve living conditions in First Nations communities.

Building on this, EAP 2013 announced the Government of Canada's continued commitment to working with provinces and territories to develop and implement solutions to housing by proposing more than $1.25 billion in federal funding over five years to renew the IAH to 2019; $100 million, over two years, to support the construction of about 250 housing units in Nunavut; and $119 million per year over five years, nearly $600 million in total, to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy using a Housing First approach.

With the IAH, provinces and territories have the flexibility to design and deliver programs that meet local needs and priorities, including building new or renovating existing co-operative housing. Provinces and territories can also use the funding for rent supplement programs that can be made available to housing providers, including co-operatives, once their existing federal and provincial/territorial operating agreements mature.

Through CMHC, the Government of Canada also supports federally assisted housing projects through its lending programs. Earlier this year, important changes were made to these programs that allow non-profit and co-operative housing sponsor groups to prepay their existing closed CMHC mortgages with a yield maintenance prepayment penalty consistent with private lending institutions in order to refinance to address needed capital repairs and renovations, extending the life of their homes.

Recently, Mondragon Housing Co-operative in Brampton, Ontario, became the first co-op to receive approval for refinancing under these revised rules. 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.

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