DCN ARCHIVES

April 20, 2009

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

CMHC ready to assist Canadian municipalities with housing-related infrastructure loans

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), today announced that municipalities can begin applying for direct, low-cost loans for shovel-ready infrastructure projects through CMHC.

“Our Government understands the importance of infrastructure in maintaining strong and prosperous communities,” said Minister Finley. “We’re very pleased to officially launch our Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program, which will give municipalities access to the low-cost funding they need to move forward quickly on housing-related infrastructure projects. These projects will also provide job creation for the local community.”

Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides up to $2 billion in direct low-cost loans to municipalities, over two years, for housing-related infrastructure projects. Municipal infrastructure loans are available to any municipality in Canada and will provide a new source of funds for municipalities to invest in housing-related infrastructure projects.

Eligible loans will be approved largely on a first come, first serve basis, however, CMHC will also seek to facilitate equitable access to the program and will work to encourage applications from urban and rural municipalities across Canada. Only infrastructure projects serving new or existing residential areas may be considered.

Eligible municipal infrastructure projects must directly relate to housing, contributing to the efficient functioning of residential areas. Projects include, for example, infrastructure related to the provision of housing services such as water, wastewater and solid waste services, power generation; local transportation infrastructure within or into residential areas such as roads, bridges and tunnels; residential sidewalks, lighting, pathways, landscaping and green space.

"The Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) is pleased to see this program launched so quickly," said Gary Friend, President of CHBA. "This funding will not only provide needed municipal infrastructure for housing in our communities, but it will also help to create jobs and stimulate our economy."

"This program will help municipalities across Canada," said Ken Seiling, Regional Chair, Regional Municipality of Waterloo. "With access to preferential lending rates, it should assist many communities in advancing their critical infrastructure projects."

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

More information on this and other measures in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp.

More information, including applications forms, for municipalities wishing to apply for loans can be found at www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.

– RCD Digital Media

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