Celebration marks completion of renovations to YWCA



    ST. THOMAS, ON, May 1 /CNW/ - A ceremony was held today to celebrate the
completion of renovations to the 79-year old YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin women's
residence.
    The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin has been providing much-needed services to
women in Elgin County since 1902. It is a not-for-profit provider of
assistance programs, emergency, short-term and long-term housing for women in
need.
    The federal government provided $231,288 through Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
(RRAP) to renovate and upgrade the building. This program provides financial
assistance to bring properties for lower-income households up to minimum
standards of health and safety.
    "The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing
available in Ontario and across Canada for those who need it most," said MP
Joe Preston, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for CMHC.
"These renovations will provide women with access to safe housing and the
support they need to help them start a new page in their lives."
    The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin used the federal funding to make major repairs
to the walls, floors, fire escape, kitchen and bathrooms and also to upgrade
the interior, windows and electrical systems of the three-storey, 20 bed-unit
building.
    "For over 30 years our priority has been to provide emergency, short-term
and long- term housing to women in need," said Marla Champion, Executive
Director, YWCA-St.Thomas-Elgin. "This project has also helped us to provide a
much-needed lift to both a historical building and women's spirits."
    Last fall, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over
the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help
the homeless. Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional
one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new and
existing social housing, and lending up to another $2 billion to
municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.

    As Canada's national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC) draws on over 60 years of experience to help Canadians
access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes
- homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and
cities across the country. For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call
1-800-668-2642.





For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Nicole Burgers, Communications
Consultant, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Tel: (416) 250-2760;
Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482


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