St. Catharines celebrates new affordable housing

THOROLD, ON, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, Niagara Region, the City of St. Catharines and Niagara Regional Housing today celebrated the official opening of a converted apartment building that provides 21 new affordable housing units in St. Catharines. The project, located at 21 King Street, is supported by $1.47 million in funding through the Ontario-Canada Affordable Housing Program.

Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, 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); Jim Bradley, Member of Provincial Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Watson, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Peter Partington, Regional Chair, Niagara Region; and Brian McMullan, Mayor of St. Catharines, along with guests and tenants, attended the event.

"The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in Ontario and across Canada for those who need it most," said MP Dykstra. "These new apartments provide more rental options for individuals and families in need of suitable, affordable housing, and are important to the economic and social well-being of the St. Catharines community."

"This project will enrich not only the lives of individuals and families, but the entire community," said MPP Bradley. "I look forward to continuing working with our partners to build more affordable housing in Niagara region."

Today's announcement recognized the opening of a 25-unit housing facility that provides 21 affordable housing units for individuals and families, five of which are supportive and four of which are market rent units. The federal and provincial allocations to the project were complemented by almost $350,000 in municipal funding. The project also received $20,000 of SEED grant funding through CMHC.

"This new housing development in downtown St. Catharines is a great example of the federal, provincial and Niagara regional governments working together to improve the lives of citizens," said Peter Partington, Niagara Regional Chairman. "By increasing access to affordable and supportive housing, we're helping some of Niagara's most vulnerable citizens. I am proud that Niagara Region is able to support this much needed development."

"I welcome this investment, not only in downtown but also in affordable housing," said Brian McMullan, Mayor of St. Catharines. "As we move forward with plans to revitalize our city's core, we must ensure a variety of housing options are available for all residents wishing to live downtown."

"This is a great opportunity to turn a 10-year vacant property into affordable housing for the residents of Niagara while at the same time revitalizing the downtown St. Catharines area," said Albert Perez, Director of 21 King Street Inc.

The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program 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.

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 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 totaling 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.

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.

    
    Disponible en français
    For more information visit: http://www.cmhc.ca
    www.ontario.ca/housing
    

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media Inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Leslie Pawlowski, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (416) 250-3297; Adam Grachnik, Minister Jim Watson's Office, (416) 585-6492; Maryellen MacLellan, Niagara Regional Housing, (905) 682-9201, Ext. 3938


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