Gerry Rogers Question Period (05.31.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, rents Province-wide are skyrocketing. I am getting calls from seniors on low and moderate incomes who cannot afford these uncontrolled rent increases. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation said that the majority of calls they get for rent supplements are from seniors who face two- to three-year wait lists. Seniors are having to make decisions about rent, heat or food. The current Rent Supplement Program is not working for them.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier: What plan does she have to deal with this?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Transportation and Works and the Minister Responsible for Housing.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEDDERSON: Mr. Speaker, again, in addressing the housing needs of the most vulnerable people in this Province we have initiated any number of programs that are helping these people to find adequate housing. Rent supplements are one, Mr. Speaker. This year we have increased it. We are up to $1,700. Add to that our 5,500 units and we are doing a pretty good job, I think.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, the seniors who are calling our offices and who are living in fear about these rent increases do not think the government is doing a fine job. BC has a solution. They have a Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters program.

What is this Province going to do for our elderly renters?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Transportation and Works.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEDDERSON: Mr. Speaker, again, besides creating housing and housing opportunities for our seniors, we are also very much involved with other programs. Our REEP, for example, is a program where we can go in and keep people in their homes. With the proper insulation and with the savings they have, some upwards of $300, $400, or $500 a year, these programs our helping us. Our Provincial Home Repair Program is keeping seniors in their homes and making sure they have proper housing.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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