OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/29/13 -- The Government of Canada has announced changes to CMHC's lending programs that support existing social housing projects.
"Today's announcement will benefit lower-income households living in existing social housing, including individuals, families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people by helping to renew Canada's affordable housing stock, said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "It will also create jobs and economic growth-two of our government's top priorities."
Effective immediately, for eligible existing social housing projects that require capital repairs and renovations, the Government of Canada will be accepting the prepayment of closed CMHC mortgages with a yield maintenance prepayment penalty consistent with private lending institutions.
These changes will allow non-profit and co-operative housing sponsor groups to refinance in order to undertake needed capital repairs and renovations and extend the life of their projects.
"The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) congratulates Minister Finley and the Harper Government for achieving a fair and reasonable policy change. This new approach to ending CMHC mortgages will be warmly welcomed by housing co-operatives across Canada," said CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. "It will enable them to get on with the major repairs and modernization of their housing that they are ready to begin."
Currently, the Government invests $1.7 billion a year in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing across the country. Most of this funding is delivered by provinces and territories, which contribute annually to the existing housing stock under long-term agreements with the federal government.
Federally-administered social housing received $150 million in funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan to renovate and retrofit their properties, including $120.7 million for housing for co-operatives. Existing social housing projects, including co-operatives, administered by provinces and territories had access to a larger pool of $850 million in federal funding for social housing renovations and repairs, which was delivered and cost-matched by provinces and territories.
The Government, through CMHC, continues to work with provinces and territories and other stakeholders to ensure that Canadians have access to a range of affordable housing options, including non-profit and co-operative housing.
As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.
Backgrounder: CMHC Lending Programs and Federal Investments in Existing Social Housing
Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca
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