News Release - August 23, 2005
WESSEX PLACE LAUNCHES HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM
The grand opening of an affordable housing project in Regina is providing families with the opportunity to realize the dream of homeownership. The opening of Wessex Place also marks the launch of the Homeownership Option of the Centenary Affordable Housing Program (CAHP).
Wessex Place is a 36-unit affordable-housing project on the east side of Regina. Twelve units are already occupied and 19 more have been committed, with construction underway on the remaining units. The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan will contribute up to $700,000 in forgivable loans to homeowners under the Centenary Affordable Housing Program.
The project is the result of a partnership between the Regina Affordable New Home Foundation, Terra Developments, North Ridge Development Corporation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and the City of Regina.
"I am pleased to see this project coming to life, making a real difference in the community," said Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing for Canada. "This shows that all government levels can work together with the non-profit and private sectors and make homeownership an achievable goal for Regina families."
"HomeFirst is helping Saskatchewan families build safe and prosperous lives through homeownership," Learning Minister Andrew Thomson said on behalf of Community Resources and Employment Minister Joanne Crofford. "Anyone who is interested should contact their local Housing Authority about other units that are available for homeownership."
"This affordable housing project fits in perfectly with City Council's long-range vision for Regina as an attractive, generous, affordable, accessible, compact and competitive city," Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco said. "Improving living conditions and quality of life benefits all of Regina's residents and businesses."
The City of Regina has applied the five-year tax abatement policy so families will find their new home even more affordable.
"As a young family just beginning our careers, we hadn't planned on home ownership for as long as 10 years. Then this opportunity came along and made it possible to own our home much sooner," Wessex Place resident Jolene Generoux said.
The Regina Affordable New Home Foundation is a registered non-profit corporation created by the Homebuilders Association to address the need for affordable housing in Regina. The Foundation contracted with Terra Developments to provide management services to see the project through to completion. The Foundation contracted North Ridge Development Corporation to be the general contractor and to build the 36 homes. Families apply through Terra Developments and need to be approved for CAHP funding by the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and for a mortgage by a private lender.
Funded under the Canada-Saskatchewan Affordable Housing Agreement, CAHP provides $33 million in federal funding for affordable housing, matched by the province, municipalities and other parties. With these matching contributions, a total of $66 million will be allocated by 2007-08 for affordable housing.
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