NDP misses the mark on housing
March 7, 2012
The third party demonstrated its lack of understanding of housing issues and the Provincial Government’s comprehensive set of initiatives to address them in the House of Assembly today when MHA Gerry Rogers called for the creation of a housing division and housing strategy. The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), pointed out to the third party that the Provincial Government has had a long-term vision for social housing since 2009, outlined in the NLHC’s 10-year Social Housing Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador – Secure Foundations, which was supported by an investment of $17.5 million in 2011.
“Through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation this government has invested millions annually to support creative solutions and partnerships that help people in vulnerable circumstances,” said Minister Hedderson. “It is disappointing to see that the only solution to housing challenges the province’s third party has offered is to suggest the creation of more bureaucracy by creating a housing division, and without any clarity about how this division would differ from the work Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is already doing.”
Key investments by the Provincial Government to provide housing assistance to those with the greatest needs include:
- 5,573 rental units province-wide through the NLHC;
- Rent subsidies for people living in 1,732 rental units;
- Capital funding for approximately 1,100 new affordable housing properties in the private and supportive living sector in dozens of communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Financial and training support to 1,026 partner-managed units;
- Over $16 million annually to help close to 3,500 people with low incomes stay in their own homes through the various programs for homeowners such as the Provincial Home Repair Program, the Residential Energy Efficiency Program, and Home Modification Program; and,
- An investment of $4.8 million per year through the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program to provide operational funding for community-based organizations that create housing supports for people with complex service needs.