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April 25, 2008
For immediate release
Minister Responsible for Housing Disappointed with Federal Minister's Lack of Interest in Housing Issues
Social Services and Seniors
Minister Currie participated in a meeting with Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Housing and Honourable Monte Solberg, Federal Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Québec early in April. The meeting was the first time P/T ministers have been invited to discuss critical housing issues with Minister Solberg.
Minister Currie expressed great disappointment that Minister Solberg was not able to provide a firm response to any of the issues they raised. Even more troubling was the fact that Minister Solberg does not see the need to continue to pursue discussions with his provincial and territorial housing counterparts until August 2009.
“In PEI, we have Canada-PEI Housing Agreements due to begin expiring March 2009,” said Currie. ”As provincial minister of housing, it is very disappointing to return home with no apparent federal support for safe affordable housing here in PEI and across the country. For a government that has identified breaking the cycle of poverty as a priority, it’s hard to understand that the same government does not see affordable housing as a priority.”
Currie said that ministers are undeterred by this lack of concern for the country’s critical housing issues and they will continue to work together as provinces and territories to make sure that Canada’s housing needs are met. “We will continue to press the federal government to provide leadership and support to address Canada’s urgent housing situation.”
At this point, the P/T Housing Ministers are urging the federal government to immediately extend its financial contribution to housing, especially in the areas of Residential Rehabilitation, Homelessness and Affordable Housing beyond March 2009. They also pointed out the need for federal funding to support Canada’s existing social housing stock.
At present, the Government of Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides for cost-sharing of PEI housing programs involving 1,700 units of family and senior social housing, the Canada-PEI Affordable Housing Agreement signed in 2003, the Canada-PEI Affordable Housing Trust and the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP).