Saskatchewan to host Summit on Innovative Housing
April 24, 2012
Housing experts are gathering in Regina to participate in the second Housing and Development Summit being held April 24-25, 2012 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Centre. The focus of the conference will be on continued planning for growth in Saskatchewan and the need to ensure that housing is affordable and accessible for all Saskatchewan citizens.
"Collaboration across the housing sector is key if we are to support Saskatchewan's growing population and ensure that housing is affordable and accessible for all," Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude said. "That is why this summit is so important - it provides housing stakeholders with an opportunity to learn from each other and to exchange ideas on how we can all help solve the housing issues facing our growing province and maintain the Saskatchewan Advantage for all citizens"
"It is key to the goal of maintaining the momentum that is building the Saskatchewan Advantage that there is a better appreciation of the factors that can either drive or deter investment and growth," President and CEO of the Canadian Home Builders' Association - Saskatchewan Alan Thomarat said. "Much of the activity in the market place surely wouldn't occur without capital investment. However, communities and housing stakeholders need to work together to mitigate the impacts that delay processes so that development plans and housing business plans are approved quickly. This summit seeks solutions that bring housing plans and projects to life now."
The summit will bring together more than 200 housing stakeholders from across the province to discuss planning for housing and to identify ways to bring those plans to life. Day one of the summit will focus on the current housing pressures in Saskatchewan. Day two of the summit will focus on bringing municipalities and developers together to take action on housing development. A number of industry and government representatives were involved in the planning and design of the summit, reflecting a wide range of industry knowledge.
The summit will also highlight results of the 2011-12 Provincial Action Plan, which was released as part of A Strong Foundation - The Housing Strategy for Saskatchewan in August 2011. A copy of the update is available at http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/2012Update-HousingStrategy.pdf. Early on in its mandate, the Government of Saskatchewan promised to make housing a top priority and has taken action on a number of initiatives to build a stronger housing environment, including:
- Introduction of the Saskatchewan First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, a provincial income tax credit of up to $1,100 dollars, to help individuals and families purchase their first home.
- A new Corporate Income Tax rebate to support the development of 10,000 rental units across the province. Increased funding of $2 million for the Rental Construction Incentive (RCI) and Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP) to address the demand for those programs.
- An additional investment of $1 million for Habitat for Humanity to help an additional 20 low-income families achieve homeownership.
- The allocation of $2 million to the enhanced Secondary Suites program to support the development of 70 to 100 self-contained living units within single family homes by providing eligible homeowners and rental property owners with financial assistance to build or renovate a secondary suite.
- Improvements to Saskatchewan Housing Corporation's repair and adaptation programs to help sustain existing affordable housing supply that might otherwise be lost from the market.
- An investment of $9.2 million in the Rental Development Program to develop an additional 200 rental units in communities.
"With these investments, I am proud that our support for housing has grown to $344 million," Draude said. "Under our plan, we will develop more than 12,600 new homes for Saskatchewan people - homes that offer security, shelter, well-being and a sense of belonging. We will continue to work hard to ensure that Saskatchewan people have a place to call home."
The Housing Summit is being presented by Saskatchewan Housing Corporation in partnership with the Canadian Home Builders' Association - Saskatchewan. Steering and planning committee members for this summit include representatives from the Canadian Home Builders' Association - Saskatchewan (CHBA-SK); the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors; the Regina & Region Homebuilders' Association; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities; Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association; Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC); Enterprise Saskatchewan; the Ministry of Municipal Affairs; and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration.