SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2012) - Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with the Honourable June Draude, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), today celebrated the official opening of Columbian Place, a local housing initiative for seniors in Saskatoon.
Funding in the amount of $8 million has been made available for the initiative through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession.
"Our Government is investing in affordable housing here in Saskatoon, to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most," said MP Block. "These initiatives will help seniors living in our community access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs."
"We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada, the City of Saskatoon and K.C. Charities in celebrating the successful completion of this project," said Minister Draude. "Columbian Place will allow seniors of moderate income to live affordably and independently for as long as possible, and to fully participate in the community."
Located at 1407 - 20th Street West in Saskatoon, this project consists of 75 one and two-bedroom rental units for seniors of moderate-income. SHC continues to work with the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors to develop new housing opportunities in Saskatoon. Since November 2007, 995 affordable rental units have been completed in Saskatoon, including 225 units for seniors. An additional 54 affordable rental units are currently under construction.
"The City of Saskatoon is pleased to support this project with a cash grant of $885,000, a five-year incremental property tax abatement, as well as making the land available for one dollar," said Mayor Donald Atchison. "In addition to the project's obvious benefit to Saskatoon seniors needing quality housing at an affordable rate, Columbian Place is also a key part of the new Pleasant Hill Village. Pleasant Hill Village is a new and dynamic community that brings together young and old, a variety of housing, additional park space and an adjacent new wellness and education centre."
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 is matching 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.
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In Saskatchewan, this represents some 29,900 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
Since March 2011, the Government of Saskatchewan has committed $344 million to housing initiatives. It is expected that these investments will result in over 12,600 new and rejuvenated housing units.
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-schl.gc.ca.