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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Building Redesign and Improvements Meet NFLD Social Housing Need!

CMHC Announces New Foundland Reconfiguration Project Completion

St. John’s.and Corner Brook New Foundland recently saw more low cost rental units created thanks to a partnership between the federal and provincial governments. The grants provided re-configured existing buildings into smaller units to be able to provide more housing. What do you think of this announcement? Has your community been able to tap into this funding to help ease homelessness? Please add your comment below.Here is the release from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation site. image CMHC logo

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, December 14, 2011 — Today the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced the completion of a $495,000 reconfiguration housing project on Mundy Pond Road in St. John’s. A six-bedroom duplex has been remodelled into four, one-bedroom apartments for single adults living on low-income.

The equally cost-shared federal and provincial funding for this current project was allocated through the Affordable Housing Trust fund ($383,000) and Canada’s Economic Action Plan: Renovation and Retrofit of Social Housing ($112,000). This is the second reconfiguration project undertaken by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) as part of an innovative pilot project aimed at meeting the changing demographic need for social housing, particularly in urban centres through the restructuring of existing social housing properties.

“The Government of Canada is proud to have been a partner in the renovation and retrofit of these apartments,” said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “With the completion of the work, low-income individuals can now access affordable rental housing that meets their needs”.

“I am delighted to announce the completion of this second reconfiguration project — these homes will definitely improve the ability to meet the changing and challenging housing needs of smaller families and single adults through our existing provincial social housing portfolio,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. “For some time now we have been looking for innovative ways to achieve this goal, and we would like to see more of these conversions undertaken because they do make a positive difference.”

Provincial Government Invested $1 million R and D Funds

The provincial government invested $1 million to research and develop options to address the changing demographic need for social housing. The goal is to restructure under-used units into homes that meet the demographic need for smaller homes, and in the process, to yield at least one additional unit within the same space. Similarly in Corner Brook, NLHC remodelled a duplex on Wheeler’s Road into three one- and two-bedroom apartments. Both reconfiguration projects were undertaken in low-density neighbourhoods with consideration for suitable parking and access.

Federal Government five-year investment- more than $1.9 billion

In September 2008, the Government of Canada committed to a five-year investment of more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness to address the needs of low-income Canadians, those at risk of homelessness, and the homeless. This included a two-year renewal of the Affordable Housing Initiative and renovation programs until March 31, 2011 with a commitment to consult on the use of the investments for the 2011 – 2014 period. The initial phase of the Canada’s Economic Action Plan built on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided $850 million to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing.

Federal and Provincial Cost-shared Affordable Housing Agreement

On August 16, 2011, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador signed a new $41-million cost-shared affordable housing agreement. Funding under the new Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011 – 2014 will continue to reduce the number of households in housing need.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada, through CMHC, is working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit

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