November 20, 2015

Province Supports National Housing Day

National Housing Day is recognized across Canada on November 22.  This day provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of affordable housing in communities nation-wide, and celebrates the contributions of those who help create housing solutions.

“Housing is a key priority of our government, and we are proud to work with our partners in the housing sector to ensure that Saskatchewan people in greatest need have a safe, affordable place to call home,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Donna Harpauer said.  “Private business, community groups and all levels of government have roles to play to ensure ongoing success.  We appreciate the vision and dedication of many people and organizations who work hard every day to help us achieve our housing goals and keep Saskatchewan strong.”

Since November 2007, government has invested more than $675 million to develop and repair more than 14,000 housing units around the province.  With the assistance of provincial programs and initiatives, the private market has further responded to housing need in Saskatchewan by increasing housing supply and accessibility.  This allows government to focus its efforts on supporting households with greatest housing need.

Progress is being made:

  • Through partnerships with municipalities, builders, lenders and non-profits, rental vacancy rates have increased in many communities across the province.  The average provincial vacancy rate has increased from 1.5 per cent in October 2009 to 6.8 per cent in October 2015;
  • There have been more rental starts in the past three years than in the previous 17 years combined.  The combined rental starts between 2012-2014 totalled 3,975 units, and 3,165 between 1990-2011;
  • The renewal of the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement with the Government of Canada will bring a combined investment of $91.9 million over five years to help more families and individuals in need access affordable housing in Saskatchewan;
  • Since 2007, nearly 280 rental and homeowner units have been delivered or are under construction in northern Saskatchewan; and
  • To help improve affordability, in market communities, the province has converted 2,700 Affordable Housing Rental Program units to the Social Housing Rental Program where rent is based on income.

“This success proves that we are following through on our commitment to a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people by improving access to safe, affordable homes,” Harpauer said.  “Together with our partners, we are accomplishing more than either of us could individually to ensure a healthy housing environment for all.”