In The Community

  • Housing Transition Will Help More People in Need

    Released on January 22, 2015

    More people in need will have access to housing due to a decision to transition the Affordable Housing Program into the Social Housing Program in Saskatchewan’s largest centers.
    “It is our intent to ensure that Saskatchewan people with the greatest housing need, such as persons with disabilities and families with low-incomes, have better access to safe, quality housing,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Donna Harpauer said.  “At the same time, we also need to ensure that our government housing remains truly affordable for those who live in it, and that is why this transition is so important.”

    “It makes sense to have one housing program that makes it easier and more affordable for households in need,” Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Board Chair Keith Hanson said.  “This transition will result in significant reductions in monthly rents for hundreds of Saskatchewan seniors, families and individuals and will convert 2,700 housing units for people who need them the most.”

    Beginning March 1, 2015, anyone who applies for government-owned rental housing in urban centres will only be eligible for the Social Housing Rental Program, where rent is based on 30 per cent of income.
    Existing Affordable Housing tenants will have the opportunity to transition to the Social Housing Program.  Many existing tenants should benefit from a rent decrease immediately, based on their income.  Tenants who remain in the Affordable Housing Program will pay a lower market rent, but these rents will increase over time.

    “This transition will reduce, or have no change, on the rent of almost 1,300 low-income households, putting more money in their pocket and ensuring that more vulnerable people have access to social housing,” Harpauer said.

    For further details on the transition and the communities where the Affordable Housing Program is transitioning, please contact the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation toll-free at 1-800-667-7567.
    For more information, contact:
    Leya Moore Social Services Regina Phone: 306-787-3610 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MLA Report

MLA Report – February 5, 2014

The success and growth of our agriculture industry depends on getting products to port and shipped throughout the world.  Unfortunately, problematic weather and the sheer volume of this year’s crop is so great that rail transportation can’t keep up.  This shouldn’t happen.  Our government is committed to finding solutions and fully supports the federal government in its efforts to alleviate this situation – including enhancements to the Grain Monitoring Program.

We need to move our product to market and it was extremely disappointing to see thousands of CN train and yard operations employees serve strike notice.  In a letter to Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, Premier Wall asked for immediate legislation to prevent members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference from taking strike action.  This action was necessary as a strike at this time would only further exacerbate an already intolerable situation.

Railways need to immediately enact a plan to increase grain shipments.  We recognize efforts are underway to develop a long-term plan for the future, as we anticipate these larger crops will become the new normal.  However, further action is necessary to clear up the immediate backlog as soon as possible.  We will continue to work to find a solution with stakeholders, including the federal government, grain companies, railways and port authorities.

We have a choice in Saskatchewan.  We can plan for growth or we can plan for decline.  After experiencing the latter for far too long, Saskatchewan people chose growth.  Today, our province is growing and our government has a plan to help sustain that growth over the long-term.  A key part of our growth plan is investing in infrastructure.  Just this year, our government invested $850 million in things like highways, housing, healthcare facilities and more. We are on track to meet our commitment to invest $2.5 billion over four years.  Since 2008, our government and Crown Corporations have invested $13.2 billion into infrastructure – double the amount that was spent in the previous six years.

As we work to finalize the 2014-15 provincial budget, we recognize there are a growing number of necessary infrastructure projects that require funding.  Innovative financing is needed and, realistically, we won’t be able to keep up if we aren’t engaging the private sector.  To meet the challenges of growth, within a balanced budget, we are looking at all of our options.  As a result, we may have to consider taxation to help fund these projects.  This, of course, would be a last resort.  Our government has a track record of reducing taxes and keeping them low.  While raising tax for revenue opportunities is something we are reluctant to do, it is something we have to consider as there is a lot to do if we want to keep up with infrastructure demands.

The strength of the construction sector is building our infrastructure and creating jobs.  In fact, Saskatchewan set a new benchmark with $3.15 billion in building permits last year.  Between 2005 and 2013, permit growth on a cumulative basis was up 247 per cent – more than double Manitoba’s rate, more than triple Alberta’s increase and more than seven times the national basis.

While many hands helped to build Saskatchewan’s economy in 2013, the same can be said for building Saskatchewan pride.  After an incredible year that saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders win the Grey Cup at home, congratulations now go out to Head Coach Corey Chamblin for being named CFL Coach of the Year.  Saskatchewan people are also proud of homegrown heroes like Regina’s Jon Ryan and Weyburn’s Graham DeLaet.  Ryan, a punter with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, just won the Super Bowl while DeLaet is carving out a reputation as one of the best golfers around.  Many of us now turn our attention to Sochi, Russia where 19 other athletes with ties to our province have arrived to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. They are living proof that you can grow up to be a world-class hockey player, figure skater or snowboarder right here in Saskatchewan.  We look forward to cheering them on!