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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Saskatchewan

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA AND SASKATCHEWAN CELEBRATE NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SASKATOON AND REGINA

Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude and City of Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison today announced support for two housing initiative in Saskatoon and Regina.

Funding in the amount of $22.5 million has been made available for the projects through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession, and through the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI). The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment of $148 million under the amended Canada - Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Program Agreement.

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $400 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors in Canada. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

"Our government is proud to be investing in these new apartments for seniors in Saskatoon and Regina through the extension of the Affordable Housing Initiative and Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Block. "All Canadians deserve access to safe, affordable housing, and these projects are making that vision a reality for more residents in Saskatchewan."

"Housing is an important issue across Saskatchewan and it is, in fact, a priority of our government," Draude said. "Along with making people's lives more comfortable and enjoyable, where we live influences our ability to be optimistic and contributes to our sense of belonging in a community.

"These two affordable housing projects for seniors are tangible examples of what can be achieved when all three levels of government and community partners work together to meet a need for additional housing."

"The City of Saskatoon congratulates K.C. Charities Inc. for building their first seniors complex in the west end of Saskatoon," Atchison said. "The Pleasant Hill Community, through their local area plan, indicated the need for a place for seniors to live in their community and this development serves that need. Affordable housing for seniors is so important in keeping the fabric of Saskatoon strong and the City of Saskatoon is very proud of its commitment to such a worthwhile project."

"With the addition of 75 units in Columbian Place, K.C. Charities Inc. will have added a total of 202 rental units for Saskatchewan seniors since 1996," K.C. Charities President Ron Martens said. "We proudly stand behind our mission statement - to provide affordable housing for seniors. This statement continues to guide our actions."

The first project, which was undertaken by K.C. Charities Inc., is designed to accommodate seniors and will create 75 affordable rental units within the new Pleasant Hill Village revitalization project in Saskatoon. The funding is provided by the federal-provincial governments ($8 million) and K.C. Charities Inc. ($1.5 million). The City of Saskatoon is also a funding partner.

In addition to the official opening of this project, the federal and provincial governments also announced AHI funding of $14.5 million for the renovation of Milton Heights, located in the Gladmer Park neighbourhood in Regina. Constructed in 1957 as the first residential high-rise building in Regina, Milton Heights is a 135-unit apartment that houses seniors and vulnerable adults. The project is being undertaken by the Regina Lutheran Care Society (RLCS), a community-based non-profit organization. The project is expected to be completed by late autumn 2011.

AHI funding was made available as a result of a joint investment under the amended Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Program Agreement, which includes funding through Canada's Economic Action Plan and by the Government of Saskatchewan. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment.

Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over the next five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless.

The amendment to the Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Program Agreement, which included funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan, signed in May 2009, brought federal housing support of $74 million to the province. The Government of Saskatchewan will match that commitment for a total of $148 million to assist those in housing need and, in collaboration with other levels of government and community partners, to make various types of affordable housing programs possible. In Saskatchewan, federal-provincial housing programs are delivered through the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.

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For more information, contact:

Michelle Bakos
Office of Minister Finley
Phone: 819-994-2482

Kimberlee Jones
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Calgary
Phone: 403-515-3048

Linda Saliken
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0246

Alan Wallace
City of Saskatoon
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-975-2650

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