Government of Canada improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced today that Canadians with disabilities will gain better access to programs and services offered through the Lookout Society, thanks to the Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).

The Lookout Society provides housing and support services for people who are homeless in Metro Vancouver. Through the EAF, the Society is receiving more than $16,000 to install automated door openers at the entrance to one of its buildings.

Quick facts

  • The Government extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.
  • Since launching the EAF in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 1 100 EAF projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
  • The Government of Canada also launched the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) in April 2007, and since then has allocated over $740 million for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. In 2013, the Government committed additional funding of almost $600 million over five years, starting April 1, 2014, to renew the HPS using a Housing First approach.

Quotes

"The Government of Canada is committed to improving accessibility for Canadians with disabilities. This project ensures that people in Vancouver who need help through the Lookout Society will have easier access to their programs and services."
- The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

Associated links

Government Support for Canadians with Disabilities
Enabling Accessibility Fund

Backgrounder

Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the EAF was extended with an additional three-year, $45-million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized project component. Since 2007, over 1 100 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government is extending EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.

All applications for funding though the EAF's 2012 call for proposals were screened against mandatory program criteria. Successful projects demonstrated they were able to create or enhance accessibility for Canadians with disabilities and involve community partnerships.

At least 25 percent of the total eligible costs for each project will come from sources other than the federal government.

Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities across Canada.

The Housing First approach recognizes that housing stability is an important first step in addressing homelessness. It is also necessary for the success of other interventions, such as education and training, developing life skills and managing mental health issues.

Housing First involves giving people who are homeless first a place to live, and then the necessary supports (e.g. for mental illness) to help them stabilize their lives and recover as well as possible.

The availability of safe, stable housing and related supports is an important element in addressing homelessness and helping individuals who are homeless achieve greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.

Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, the federal government has approved over $740 million for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to achieve self-sufficiency and participate fully in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories and other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and not-for-profit sectors.

For more information on the HPS and its seven funding streams, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

Earl Maynard
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
613-716-5422

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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