THUNDER BAY – The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have announced an additional combined investment of some $92 million over five years, to help more individuals and families in need access affordable housing. The funding will be delivered through an extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) agreement. The project is designed to build affordable housing for low income and homeless individuals. The program’s federal contribution is more than $716 million over the three year period and relates to the final three years of the federal government’s five year commitment in 2008 of $1.9 billion for housing and homelessness.
The framework for the Investment in Affordable Housing outlines the key principles and approach that is being implemented through IAH bilateral agreements between CMHC and most provinces and territories. Yukon decided to continue the existing delivery arrangements with CMHC for the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) and renovation programs.
The IAH is an evolution in the federal/provincial/territorial relationship. Under the IAH, federal investments are provided through a single funding envelope which combines the Government of Canada’s funding for off-reserve affordable housing and renovation programs.
“Our Government is proud to partner with the Province of Saskatchewan to ensure quality, affordable housing is available. This bilateral agreement provides flexibility for the Province to decide how to allocate this substantial investment according to their local needs and priorities,” said the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development. “As a result, we are also creating needed jobs and opportunities for apprentices.”
“We are pleased to continue to work with the Government of Canada to proactively ensure affordable housing is available in communities across Saskatchewan,” said the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation. “By signing this Agreement, we expect to accomplish a number of goals that complement our Growth Plan and Housing Strategy. This includes working with other housing sector partners to ensure that current and future housing needs of Saskatchewan families are met.”
The federal portion of this funding comes from Economic Action Plan 2013, which announced the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing more than $1.25 billion nationally over five years to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing and to creating opportunities for apprentices, which will support the training of skilled labour in residential housing. Governments will report annually to the public regarding the investments and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes of the IAH.
Thunder Bay has a housing shortage and as growing numbers of people come too the city looking for housing, the Shelter House, and other facilities are being stretched to the limit.
Under the IAH, the Province of Saskatchewan has the flexibility to design and deliver a range of affordable housing programs to address local housing needs and priorities.
On September 6, 2011, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced an IAH agreement with a combined investment of more than $55 million for the 2011-2014 period. This new agreement extends the original agreement for the 2014-2019 period with an additional combined investment of some $92 million. From April 2011 to June 2014, the IAH has already helped more than 183,600 households nationally, including close to 1,700 in Saskatchewan.
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. Since 2011, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $256 million to develop more than 4,500 units and repair more than 24,300 homes around the province.