Alice Bissett Place Official Opening and Dedication in Calgary



    Providing affordable and supported housing for low-income Calgarians

    CALGARY, June 25 /CNW/ - Alice Bissett Place, a 114 unit housing complex
providing supported affordable homes for homeless and low-income and at risk
Calgarians, opened today. Federal, provincial and municipal officials joined
Joint Venture Partners - Calgary Home Builders Foundation, Calgary Homeless
Foundation and Horizon Housing Society - to celebrate the official opening and
dedication.
    Starting July 1, Alice Bissett Place will be home to a diverse group of
residents - low-income seniors, individuals, couples and families, as well as
people with physical disabilities, mental illness and brain-injuries. The
housing complex, located in Inglewood, took less than two years to build.
    "Alice Bissett Place is a huge community undertaking. The Joint Venture
Partners thank everyone involved in the planning, fundraising and construction
process," said Monte Kendall, President of Calgary Home Builders Foundation,
which supervised the construction of the complex. "We're also very thankful to
the Home Builders' volunteers, including trades people, who donated hundreds
of hours, materials and expertise in kind to construct Alice Bissett Place."
    Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation added,
"This would not have been possible without contributions from government,
private and public sector organizations, individuals and volunteers. The
completion of this project shows how the entire community can work together to
make a tangible difference in the lives of our homeless and low income
neighbours. Alice Bissett Place is also a significant step in helping us
achieve our 10 year plan of ending homelessness in Calgary."
    "A lot of care went into designing Alice Bissett Place so it would foster
a sense of community for residents," Kim O'Brien, Executive Director of
Horizon Housing Society explained. "We look forward to bringing over 32 years
of experience to the day-to-day management of the property. Together, with our
community service partners, we are able to provide long term housing coupled
with specialized support programs for our tenants. Our on-site building
managers will also have the opportunity to get to know the residents and be an
active part of the Alice Bissett Place Community."
    The Joint Venture Partners would like to acknowledge and thank the
federal, provincial and municipal governments for their support. The
Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta provided over $12 Million
in funding towards this project, and the City of Calgary contributed a 60-year
land lease valued at $2 million. Project Development Funding was provided by
CMHC.
    The project also garnered significant support from the community. Alice
Bissett Place was originally called "Inglewood Residence"; however, the
complex was renamed in honour of the late mother of David Bissett, who along
with his wife Leslie, donated $2 million for the construction of the building.
    Many other individuals and organizations, including Willow Park Charity
Golf Classic, provided funding for this project. All financial contributions
are featured on a special "Donor Wall," specifically designed for and
displayed at the building.
    "Our Government is moving aggressively to ensure Canada's Economic Action
Plan is implemented rapidly here in Alberta and across Canada," said the
Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament
for Calgary Centre-North, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister
of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "I'm pleased that more
lower-income individuals, families, seniors and persons with disabilities,
will benefit from safe, affordable housing in their communities."
    "This new development supports a more equitable way of living and working
together and is one that will contribute to a sense of belonging, a family and
a community for vulnerable people," said Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs
Minister Yvonne Fritz. "Many organizations have worked very hard to make this
initiative possible, and Alberta is pleased to collaborate with these true
community champions."
    "Alice Bissett Place helps to fulfill an important need in Calgary's
affordable housing sector," said Mayor Dave Bronconnier. "By bringing together
three orders of government, non-profit agencies, the community and the private
sector, we've developed accessible housing that will have a positive and
lasting impact for hundreds of individuals and families."
    The event also featured the signing of an amendment to the Canada-Alberta
Affordable Housing Program Agreement, along with an announcement of $386
million over the next two years. Minister Jim Prentice joined Alberta Minister
Yvonne Fritz to make the announcement at today's official opening and
dedication.
    Alice Bissett Place is the second residence providing supported
affordable housing developed by the Calgary Home Builders Foundation, Calgary
Homeless Foundation and Horizon Housing Society, with generous support from
the federal and provincial governments and The City of Calgary. The first, Bob
Ward Residence, opened its doors in fall 2003 to Calgarians coping with mental
illness, physical disabilities and brain injuries.
    The Joint Venture Partners would like to give special thanks to the
community of Inglewood for supporting this project and welcoming the residents
of Alice Bissett Place.
    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant,
healthy communities and cities across the country.
    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. For more information on
Canada's Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O Canada or visit
www.actionplan.gc.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of
Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482, michelle.bakos@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca; Katrina
Bluetchen, Communications, Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs, Tel: (780)
427-4897, Toll-free within Alberta 310-0000; Kimberlee Jones, Communications,
CMHC Prairie & Territories, (403) 515-3048, kjones@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Paul J.
Bowen, Affordable Housing - Communications, The City of Calgary, (403)
268-8004, Paul.Bowen@calgary.ca; Kathleen Polyak, Communications, Calgary
Homeless Foundation, (403) 718-8540, kathleen@calgaryhomeless.com

Organization Profile

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC), PRAIRIES REGION

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