Regional Municipality of York celebrates new affordable housing

VAUGHAN, ON, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the Region of York celebrated the start of construction of 144 affordable housing units in two projects in the City of Vaughan today. The projects are supported by $10.1 million in funding under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program.

Lois Brown, Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora, 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); Greg Sorbara, Member of Provincial Parliament for Vaughan, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Region of York Chair, Bill Fisch; Linda Jackson, Mayor of the City of Vaughan; and Kenneth McAlister, President of Hesperus Fellowship Village attended the event.

"Vaughan seniors' will soon have access to more affordable rental housing options," said MP Brown. "Investments like these are helping low-income seniors to continue to live independently in their communities, close to family and friends."

"Our government knows that access to decent affordable housing is essential to the health and well-being of our communities," said MPP Sorbara. "The projects we are celebrating today will make a positive and significant difference in the lives of the people who will call them home."

Today's announcement recognized two affordable housing projects in Vaughan:

    
    -  Hesperus Village - a 60-unit project, sponsored by Hesperus Fellowship
       Village received $4.2 million in funding under the Canada-Ontario
       Affordable Housing Program. The units will be occupied by seniors
       living on low income.

    -  Mapleglen Residences - an 84-unit project, sponsored by the Regional
       Municipality of York received $5.9 million in funding under the
       Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. The units will be occupied
       by seniors living on low income.
    

The federal and provincial allocations to the projects were complemented by municipal financial incentives. The Regional Municipality of York contributed $1.2 million for Hesperus Village and $14 million for Mapleglen Residences. The City of Vaughan also contributed to these projects by waiving $133,000 in development charges for Hesperus Village and by providing a long-term lease at a nominal fee, for the 2.1 acre lot where Mapleglen Residences will be located.

"York Region's contribution of more than $15 million for these two projects demonstrates our strong commitment to creating safe and affordable accommodation for York Region residents who need it the most," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. "These projects are also great examples of what can happen when all levels of government and the community successfully work together."

"Hesperus Village is delighted to expand by making an additional sixty affordable rental units possible with multi-level government support," said Dr. McAlister. "This will be a significant reduction of the length and age of existing waiting lists. Future residents are looking forward to experiencing holistic aging on a natural and intergenerational campus."

The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement, signed in 2005, comprises a commitment of $301 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the federal, provincial and municipal governments will invest at least $734 million in the program, which will provide affordable housing for up to 20,000 households in Ontario.

In 2008, 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 in new and existing social housing and lending of up to another $2 billion to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Combined for Ontario, this means a further $1.2-billion joint investment under the amended Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment.

Ontario is moving quickly to implement this additional funding, which increases the number of quick start projects to 39 totalling over $76.5 million and which will improve access to affordable housing for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities. It will also create jobs and strengthen local economies. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.mah.gov.on.ca.

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan can be found at www.actionplan.gc.ca. 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.

Disponible en français

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Michelle Bakos, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Adam Grachnik, Minister Jim Watson's Office, (416) 585-6492; Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, The Regional Municipality of York, (905) 830-4444 ext. 4016; Shawn Griffiths, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 218-3448; For more information visit: www.cmhc.ca; www.ontario.ca/housing


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