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  • Date Submitted: 02/18/2012 07:17 AM
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By Elodie Adams
Journal Staff Writer
Journal.Reporter1@Sasktel.Net
In October 2007, the government of Saskatchewan announced it would invest $45 million in housing initiatives for Saskatchewan families.
One of these initiatives was a program, Secondary Suites, which would provide financial assistance to property owners who want to create extra living space within their homes.
Repair Programs officer Debbie Mardell and Repair Programs director Grant Tofte of Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) came to Humboldt to talk about the program on November 23 at the Uniplex.
“The idea behind the Secondary Suite program,” said Mardell, who gave the presentation, “is that it helps increase the supply of affordable housing for low-   to moderate-income people.”
As Saskatchewan experiences a growing demand for affordable housing of all types, secondary suites play an important role as one of those options, which has the advantage to benefit homeowners, tenants and the community.
SHC defines a secondary suite as one that is a “private, self-contained residential unit located within an existing home or an addition to a home.”
It must have a separate entrance, its own bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom(s), but may share features such as parking, laundry and storage.
Humboldt resident Elan Buan, who attended the presentation, thinks the program is a good initiative for people who have room in their home or are currently building.
“There’s going to be a lot of transient workers coming to town as the city grows,” said Buan, “so putting in a secondary suite makes sense.”
The program offers a forgivable loan for 50 per cent of the total construction or renovation costs to a maximum of $24,000 per suite in the southern area of Saskatchewan, $28,000 for the northern part of the province.
SHC has an established set of criteria for homeowners to be eligible for the loan, and it advises applicants to receive written funding approval from them before beginning...

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