WHITBY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario today announced more than $18.4 million for the construction and renovation of 1,232 housing units in the Town of Whitby for low-income seniors, families and persons with disabilities.

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Whitby-Oshawa, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Joe Dickson, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, on behalf of the Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, along with Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer Roger Anderson, Town of Whitby Mayor Pat Perkins and Township of Brock Mayor Larry O'Connor, Chair of Health and Social Services Committee made the announcement. 

"The Government of Canada is dedicated to helping those in need in Whitby through these tough economic times," said Minister Flaherty. "Through projects like these, our Government is providing safe, affordable housing to families, seniors and persons with disabilities in our community while also creating jobs and stimulating our economy."

"Ontario is committed to strengthening our social housing system," said MPP Dickson. "As part of the government's Open Ontario Plan, our social and affordable housing programs have helped improve the quality of life for hundreds of Whitby and all Durham Region residents. We'll continue working to ensure that every Ontarian has access to a safe and affordable place to live."

"Today, Durham Region has received a significant funding contribution from our provincial and federal partners," stated Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer Roger Anderson. "As a result, seniors and persons with disabilities will have access to safe, affordable housing for many years to come. We are extremely appreciative for this significant investment into the future of our region."

Today's announcement was made at the groundbreaking of Whitby Square, a 139-unit building which received more than $16.5 million from the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program for the construction of new housing units for low-income seniors, families and persons with disabilities. In addition, The Regional Municipality of Durham received $1.92 million for 18 projects to repair 1,093 existing social housing units in the Town of Whitby.

The Government of Canada wants to ensure that Canadians on fixed incomes can live with independence and dignity and remain in their communities, close to family and friends. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $475 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, and $850 million over two years to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing provincially/territorially administered social housing. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. As part of this commitment the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) was extended for two years, bringing the total federal investment in housing under the AHI to $1.25 billion since its inception.

In 2009, Ontario allocated a combined federal and provincial investment of $704 million for the renovation of social housing, and $540 million for the creation of new affordable housing. The provincial investment is part of the Open Ontario plan, and is creating an estimated 23,000 jobs, while strengthening local economies across the province. Ontario's investment will result in the repair of more than 185,000 social housing units, while creating more than 6,400 new affordable housing units for low-income families, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. As well, the province has made available $70 million for the use of renewable energy technologies to improve energy efficiency in social housing as part of its Green Energy Strategy. 

Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy (http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/breakingthecycle/index.aspx). Download a copy of the Government of Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy (http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=8590). To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca/housing.

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca. 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.ca/housingactionplan.

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Contact Information: Media Inquiries:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Beth Bailey
Office of Minister Finley
Ryan Sparrow
Office of Minister Bartolucci
Laura Blondeau
The Regional Municipality of Durham
Jennifer Taiariol
905-668-7711 ext. 2240
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