CLC announces sale of Benny Farm veterans buildings to OMHM



    MONTREAL, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - Canada Lands Company (CLC), and the Office
municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) are pleased to announce that they
have reached an agreement that will see the OMHM purchase the veterans
buildings at Benny Farm in Montréal from CLC.
    The property to be sold consists of four buildings, totalling 237 units,
which were constructed by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and
CLC in 1997 and 2000 to provide modern and accessible homes for veterans and
other tenants who had previously lived in original post-war apartment units on
the Benny Farm property and new residents who moved into these buildings in
recent years.
    The redevelopment of Benny Farm brings approximately 570 new and
refurbished affordable housing units to the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district of
Montréal and two new community service buildings.
    "After a thorough review of all the options, we are pleased that the OMHM
purchased these buildings," said Robert Howald, CLC's Vice President, Real
Estate, Eastern Region. "Their expertise and knowledge in meeting the needs of
residents with special needs will ensure that the veterans and other tenants
in these buildings can continue to live with the dignity and respect they
deserve."
    "CMHC is pleased that the sale of the Benny Farm veterans buildings to
the OMHM will ensure that Benny Farm's units remain part of the affordable
housing stock," said Sylvie Crispo, CMHC's General Manager, Québec Business
Centre. "Through initiatives like the sale of Benny Farm, the federal
government is working in partnership with provinces, territories and
municipalities to build vibrant and healthy communities across Canada."
    "We want to assure all tenants in these buildings that they will continue
to enjoy the same benefits and the same high quality of services from the OMHM
that they presently enjoy. We look forward to working with the residents of
these buildings to maintain and enhance the strong community ties that have
been built over the past several years," said Fabien Cournoyer, Executive
Director of the OMHM.
    In addition, the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ) will offer 118 rent
subsidies to future Benny Farm residents. This financial aid is intended for
people with low incomes who, without such extra support, would have to devote
more than 25% of their income to housing. With this program, that is cost
shared with CMHC, the SHQ helps create additional affordable housing.
    The sale of these properties, which closes at the end of the month, was
accomplished through negotiations that began in 2006, when CLC indicated to
the City of Montréal that it intended to divest itself of its remaining
properties at Benny Farm at their fair market value.

    Canada Lands Company is an arm's length, self-financing Crown
corporation, which optimizes the financial and community value from strategic
properties no longer required for program purposes by the Government of
Canada. It purchases properties at fair market value, then retains and
manages, or improves and sells them, to produce the best possible benefit for
both local communities and the company's sole shareholder, the Government of
Canada.

    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.

    The Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) oversees all
public-housing projects on the island of Montréal. The OMHM has created a
network of seniors' residences with services that will total 10 buildings in
2008. The OMHM also provides access to housing for low-to-moderate income
earners through more than 20,000 homes built or renovated within housing
projects and approximately 7,500 reserved homes on the private market. The new
OMHM was created by government decree in the wake of Montréal's municipal
mergers. This organization works closely with the City of Montréal, in
accordance with the Act Respecting the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ).




For further information:

For further information: Gordon McIvor, Vice President, Strategic
Acquisitions, Public and Government Affairs, Canada Lands Company, (416)
952-6111, or gmcivor@clc.ca; Basil Cavis, General Manager, Real Estate,
Québec, Canada Lands Company, (514) 496-8909, or bcavis@clc.ca; Marie-Chantale
Lortie, Director, Communications and Marketing, International Activities,
Communications and Marketing Centre, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,
Québec Region, (514) 283-7972, or mclortie@schl.ca; Louise Hébert,
Communications Director, Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal, (514)
872-8322, or louise.hebert@omhm.qc.ca

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